Local Electoral Incentives and Decentralized Program Performance

39 Pages Posted: 27 Dec 2010

See all articles by Alain de Janvry

Alain de Janvry

University of California, Berkeley - The Richard & Rhoda Goldman School of Public Policy

Frederico Finan

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Elisabeth Sadoulet

University of California, Berkeley - The Richard & Rhoda Goldman School of Public Policy

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Abstract

This paper analyzes how electoral incentives affected the performance of a major decentralized conditional cash transfer program intended on reducing school dropout rates among children of poor households in Brazil. We show that while this federal program successfully reduced school dropout by 8 percentage points, the program's impact was 36 percent larger in municipalities governed by mayors who faced reelection possibilities compared to those with lame-duck mayors. First term mayors with good program performance were much more likely to get re-elected. These mayors adopted program implementation practices that were not only more transparent but also associated with better program outcomes.

Keywords: decentralization, electoral incentives, conditional cash transfer, impact evaluation

JEL Classification: D78, H43, I28, O15

Suggested Citation

de Janvry, Alain and Finan, Frederico and Sadoulet, Elisabeth, Local Electoral Incentives and Decentralized Program Performance. IZA Discussion Paper No. 5382, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1731186

Alain De Janvry (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley - The Richard & Rhoda Goldman School of Public Policy ( email )

2607 Hearst Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94720-7320
United States

Frederico Finan

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics ( email )

310 Barrows Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Elisabeth Sadoulet

University of California, Berkeley - The Richard & Rhoda Goldman School of Public Policy ( email )

2607 Hearst Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94720-7320
United States

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