Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2034084
 
 

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Political Connections and Social Networks in Targeted Transfer Programs: Evidence from Rural Ethiopia


Bet Caeyers


affiliation not provided to SSRN

Stefan Dercon


University of Oxford - Department of Economics

February 2012

CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP8860

Abstract:     
Despite increasingly large scale social protection programs in Africa, we have limited evidence on the local political economy of their allocation. We investigate community-based processes for food aid allocation and the role of political and social networks, using the case of Ethiopia in the aftermath of a serious drought in 2002. Local political authorities are in charge of food transfers, in terms of free food aid or food-for-work programs. We find that although targeting is clearly imperfect, free food aid is responsive to need, as well as targeted to households with less access to support from relatives or friends. We also find a strong correlation with political connections: households with close associates in official positions have more than 12 % higher probability of obtaining free food than households that are not well connected. This effect is large: someone without political connections has the same probability of getting food aid than someone more than twice as rich, but with these connections. The correlation with political connections is specifically strong in the immediate aftermath of the drought. Payment for food-for-work is also about a third higher for those with political connections. Although these programs appear to be responsive to need, in future it is crucial to look more closely at the local political economy of these programs.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 54

Keywords: Africa, food aid, political economy, targeting, transfers

JEL Classification: H53, I38, O11

working papers series


Date posted: April 4, 2012  

Suggested Citation

Caeyers, Bet and Dercon, Stefan, Political Connections and Social Networks in Targeted Transfer Programs: Evidence from Rural Ethiopia (February 2012). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP8860. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2034084

Contact Information

Bet Caeyers (Contact Author)
affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )
Stefan Dercon
University of Oxford - Department of Economics ( email )
Manor Road Building
Manor Road
Oxford, OX1 3BJ
United Kingdom
44 1865 271084 (Phone)
44 1865 271094 (Fax)
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