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Conditional cash transfers, political participation, and voting behavior

Author

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  • Baez Ramirez,Javier Eduardo
  • Camacho,Adriana
  • Conover, Emily
  • Zarate,Roman Andres

Abstract

This paper estimates the effect of enrollment in a large scale anti-poverty program in Colombia, Familias en Accion, on intent to vote, turnout and electoral choice. For identification the analysis uses discontinuities in program eligibility and variation in program enrollment across voting booths. It finds that Familias en Accion had a positive effect on political participation in the 2010 presidential elections by increasing the probability that program beneficiaries registered to vote and cast a ballot, particularly among women. Regarding voter's choice, the authors find that program participants expressed a stronger preference for the official party that implemented and expanded the program. Overall, the findings show that voters respond to targeted transfers and that these transfers can foster support for incumbents, thus making the case for designing political and legislative mechanisms, as the laws recently passed by the Colombian government, that avoid successful anti-poverty schemes from being captured by political patronage.

Suggested Citation

  • Baez Ramirez,Javier Eduardo & Camacho,Adriana & Conover, Emily & Zarate,Roman Andres, 2012. "Conditional cash transfers, political participation, and voting behavior," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6215, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6215
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Orazio Attanasio & Erich Battistin & Alice Mesnard, 2012. "Food and Cash Transfers: Evidence from Colombia," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(559), pages 92-124, March.
    2. Marco Manacorda & Edward Miguel & Andrea Vigorito, 2011. "Government Transfers and Political Support," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 1-28, July.
    3. Drazen, Allan & Eslava, Marcela, 2010. "Electoral manipulation via voter-friendly spending: Theory and evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 39-52, May.
    4. Guido Imbens & Karthik Kalyanaraman, 2012. "Optimal Bandwidth Choice for the Regression Discontinuity Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(3), pages 933-959.
    5. Ariel Fiszbein & Norbert Schady & Francisco H.G. Ferreira & Margaret Grosh & Niall Keleher & Pedro Olinto & Emmanuel Skoufias, 2009. "Conditional Cash Transfers : Reducing Present and Future Poverty," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2597, December.
    6. Xavier Giné & Ghazala Mansuri, 2018. "Together We Will: Experimental Evidence on Female Voting Behavior in Pakistan," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 207-235, January.
    7. Oskar Nupia, 2011. "Anti-Poverty Programs and Presidential Election Outcomes: Familias en Acción in Colombia," Documentos CEDE 008743, Universidad de los Andes - CEDE.
    8. Adriana Camacho & Emily Conover, 2011. "Manipulation of Social Program Eligibility," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 41-65, May.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Christopher Blattman & Mathilde Emeriau & Nathan Fiala, 2018. "Do Anti-Poverty Programs Sway Voters? Experimental Evidence from Uganda," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 100(5), pages 891-905, December.
    2. Independent Evaluation Group, 2014. "Social Safety Nets and Gender : Learning from Impact Evaluations and World Bank Projects," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 21365, December.
    3. Harold Alderman & Ruslan Yemtsov, 2014. "How Can Safety Nets Contribute to Economic Growth?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 28(1), pages 1-20.
    4. Armando Barrientos, 2013. "Politicising poverty in Latin America in the light of Rawls’ ‘strains of commitment’ argument for a social minimum," Global Development Institute Working Paper Series 18213, GDI, The University of Manchester.
    5. Matejka, Filip & Tabellini, Guido, 2015. "Electoral Competition with Rationally Inattentive Voters," CEPR Discussion Papers 10888, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Carozzi, Felipe & Repetto, Luca, 2019. "Distributive politics inside the city? The political economy of Spain's Plan E," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 85-106.
    7. Travers Barclay Child & Elena Nikolova, 2017. "War and Social Attitudes: Revisiting Consensus Views," HiCN Working Papers 258, Households in Conflict Network.
    8. Zimmermann, Laura V, 2015. "May There Be Victory: Government Election Performance and the World's Largest Public-Works Program," IZA Discussion Papers 9161, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. Frey, Anderson, 2019. "Cash transfers, clientelism, and political enfranchisement: Evidence from Brazil," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 176(C), pages 1-17.
    10. Blattman, Christopher & Emeriau, Mathilde & Fiala, Nathan, 2018. "Do anti-poverty programs sway voters? Experimental evidence from Uganda," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 101663, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    11. Armando Barrientos & Juan Miguel Villa, 2014. "Economic and political inclusion of human development conditional transfer programmes in Latin America?," Global Development Institute Working Paper Series 20014, GDI, The University of Manchester.
    12. Dragan Filipovich & Miguel Niño-Zarazúa & Alma Santillán Hernández, 2018. "Campaign externalities, programmatic spending, and voting preferences in rural Mexico: The case of Progresa-Oportunidades-Prospera programme," WIDER Working Paper Series 027, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    13. Paola Pena, 2014. "The Politics of the diffusion of Conditional Cash Transfers in Latin America," Global Development Institute Working Paper Series 20114, GDI, The University of Manchester.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    E-Government; Parliamentary Government; Population Policies; Political Systems and Analysis; Politics and Government;

    JEL classification:

    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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