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Conditional Cash Transfers, Political Participation, and Voting Behavior

Javier Baez (), Adriana Camacho (), Emily Conover and Román A. Zárate ()

Documentos CEDE from Universidad de los Andes - CEDE

Abstract: This paper estimates the effect of enrollment in a large scale anti-poverty program inColombia, Familias en Acción (FA), on intent to vote, turnout and electoral choice. For identification we use discontinuities in program eligibility and variation in program enrollment across voting booths. We find that FA has a positive effect on political participation in the 2010 presidential elections by increasing the probability that program beneficiaries register to vote and cast a ballot, particularly among women. Regarding voter's choice, we find that program participants expressed a stronger preference for the official party that implemented and expanded the program. These results are also more evident among women. 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 mechanismsthat avoid successful anti-poverty schemes from being captured by political patronage.

Keywords: Conditional Cash Transfers; voting behavior; Colombia (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O10 D72 P16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm and nep-pol
Date: 2012-09-19
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