Conditional Cash Transfers, Political Participation, and Voting Behavior

36 Pages Posted: 6 Oct 2012

See all articles by Javier Baez

Javier Baez

World Bank

Adriana Camacho

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia - Department of Economics

Emily Conover

Hamilton College - Economics Department

Román Zárate

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Abstract

This paper estimates the effect of enrollment in a large scale anti-poverty program in Colombia, 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. 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.

Keywords: Conditional Cash Transfers, voting behavior, Colombia

JEL Classification: O10, D72, P16

Suggested Citation

Baez, Javier and Camacho, Adriana and Conover, Emily and Zárate, Román, Conditional Cash Transfers, Political Participation, and Voting Behavior. IZA Discussion Paper No. 6870, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2158012

Adriana Camacho

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

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

Emily Conover

Hamilton College - Economics Department ( email )

198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323
United States

Román Zárate

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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