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Title:The effects of Conditional Cash Transfer programs on Latin American presidential elections
Author(s):Correa, Diego
Director of Research:Cheibub, José Antonio
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Cheibub, José Antonio
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Svolik, Milan; Winters, Matthew; Canache, Damarys J.
Department / Program:Political Science
Discipline:Political Science
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Latin America
Income Redistribution
Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Programs
Presidential Elections
Abstract:In the late 1990s and 2000s, a new kind of social policy spread through Latin American countries. Nearly all of them currently invest in Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programs, i.e. programs that pay cash to poor families and impose health and education conditionalities on their children. Political scientists investigating the phenomenon commonly argue that these programs have a strong pro-incumbent effect among the poor, but these claims have been sustained by only a handful of country studies. In this dissertation, I pursue two objectives. First, I analyze an original dataset with information for all Latin American presidential elections carried out between 1990 and 2010 and show that investments in CCT programs have not had any significant effect on the electoral performance of incumbent candidates. Second, I explore multiple sub-national and survey data to demonstrate that CCT programs are associated with both electoral gains among the poor and electoral losses among the rich. I claim that the occurrence of these counterbalancing effects explain why CCT programs have not helped incumbents to win elections. Their most important electoral consequence was to trigger rearrangements in the composition of incumbents’ electoral bases, increasing the participation of the poor and decreasing the participation of the rich.
Issue Date:2013-02-03
Rights Information:Copyright 2012 Diego Correa
Date Available in IDEALS:2013-02-03
Date Deposited:2012-12

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