Anti-Poverty Programs and Presidential Election Outcomes: Familias En Acción in Colombia

32 Pages Posted: 15 Jun 2011

See all articles by Oskar Nupia

Oskar Nupia

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia - Department of Economics

Date Written: March 4, 2011

Abstract

Using a comprehensive data set for Colombian municipalities between 2002 and 2010, in this paper we study the effects of large anti-poverty programs on presidential election outcomes. In particular, we test for two of the main assumptions on voters’ behavior adopted by the political economics literature. First, we examine whether the incumbent governing coalition has been politically rewarded due to the expansion exhibited by the program during the last decade. Second, we test whether voters have been willing to tradeoff their ideological attachments in exchange of a higher level of income – obtained through the cash transfer payments provided by the program. Our estimates correct for potential simultaneity problems previously identified by the literature in this field. Our results provide empirical support for both hypotheses and open the discussion on how to prevent the use of large anti-poverty programs for political purposes.

Keywords: voting, presidential elections, anti-poverty programs, electoral rewards

JEL Classification: D72, H53, O54

Suggested Citation

Nupia, Oskar, Anti-Poverty Programs and Presidential Election Outcomes: Familias En Acción in Colombia (March 4, 2011). Documento CEDE No. 2011-14, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1864064 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1864064

Oskar Nupia (Contact Author)

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia - Department of Economics ( email )

Carrera 1a No. 18A-10
Santafe de Bogota, AA4976
Colombia

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