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Scholars Who Became Practitioners: The Influence of Research on the Design, Evaluation, and Political Survival of Mexico’s Antipoverty Program Progresa/Oportunidades


Nora Lustig


Tulane University

August 15, 2011

Center for Global Development Working Paper No. 263

Abstract:     
Celebrated by academics, multilateral organizations, policymakers and the media, Mexico’s Progresa/Oportunidades conditional cash transfers program (CCT) is constantly used as a model of a successful antipoverty program. Here I argue that the transformation of well-trained scholars into influential practitioners played a fundamental role in promoting a new conceptual approach to poverty reduction, ensuring the technical soundness and effectiveness of the program, incorporating rigorous impact evaluation, and persuading politicians to implement and keep the program in place. The involvement of scholar-practitioners also helped disseminate the new CCT “technology” to many countries around the world quite rapidly.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 20

Keywords: antipoverty programs, conditional cash transfers, scholars, practitioners, Progresa, Oportunidades, Mexico

JEL Classification: H3, H53, I3, O2

working papers series


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Date posted: August 16, 2011  

Suggested Citation

Lustig, Nora, Scholars Who Became Practitioners: The Influence of Research on the Design, Evaluation, and Political Survival of Mexico’s Antipoverty Program Progresa/Oportunidades (August 15, 2011). Center for Global Development Working Paper No. 263. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1910074 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1910074

Contact Information

Nora Claudia Lustig (Contact Author)
Tulane University ( email )
New Orleans, LA 70118
United States
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