The Tragedy of Clientelism: Opting Children Out

33 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2017

See all articles by Lucas Ronconi

Lucas Ronconi

Centro de Investigación y Acción Social & CONICET

Rodrigo Zarazaga

Jesuitas Provincia Argentino-Uruguaya

Abstract

Governments in new democracies launch social policies with the purported goal of alleviating the effects of poverty among the most vulnerable households, usually low income families with children. However, this goal is can be thwarted by the clientelistic distribution of social policies' benefits because politicians seek to maximize political support and children do not vote. Based on the main Argentine household survey and on personal interviews with 120 brokers, this paper shows that brokers collect information on family size and age composition and allocate temporary public works programs that are in excess demand discriminating against families with children not old enough to vote.

Keywords: clientelism, household, discrimination, social policy, Latin America, Argentina

JEL Classification: K40, H53, I38

Suggested Citation

Ronconi, Lucas and Zarazaga, Rodrigo, The Tragedy of Clientelism: Opting Children Out. IZA Discussion Paper No. 10973. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3029845

Lucas Ronconi (Contact Author)

Centro de Investigación y Acción Social & CONICET ( email )

Av. Callao 542
Buenos Aires, 1022
Argentina

Rodrigo Zarazaga

Jesuitas Provincia Argentino-Uruguaya ( email )

Buenos Aires, C1022AAS
Argentina

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