Following the Leader: What Accounts for the Variation in Timing of Conditional Cash Transfers in Latin America? Open Access

Lemaitre, Daniel Eduardo (2013)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/x346d423k?locale=en
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Abstract

ABSTRACT

Conditional Cash Transfers have become a popular and seemingly effective tool to combat poverty in Less Developed Countries. Much of the work related to CCTP's has been country-specific and concentrated on its social effects and impacts. This study acknowledges the effectiveness of CCTP's, although it focuses on their constant growth throughout Latin America. CCTP proliferation is important because they are politically innovative and have become the standard poverty-reduction solution in Latin America. For the first time, governments in Latin America are creating programs based on transferring income monetarily rather than handing out simple short term subsidies.

With so much research dedicated to the evaluation impacts of CCTP's, the question of adoption timing has yet to be fully addressed. This study explains the variation in timing of CCT program adoption in 17 Latin American countries. Finally, this study incorporates Venezuela and Cuba, the two countries in the region that have not adopted CCTP's. By using an event history analysis, the study concludes that the likelihood of adopting a CCTP is not accelerated by theories suggested in the existing literature. Factors such as macroeconomic instability, governing party weakness, high rural poverty and poor bureaucratic quality are not correlated with the likelihood of CCTP adoption in every Latin American coutnry. The descriptive portion of the study focuses on Colombia as a case study to identify the internal governing factors that pushed that country's CCTP from its preliminary stages to its final adoption.

Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Glossary...1
Introduction...2
Literature Review...5

CCTP Expansion: Choosing a Starting Point...5
Theory Building...7

Presenting the Theory...7
Economic Factors: Recessions during Economic Liberalism...9
Social and Demographic Factors...12
Political Factors: Path towards Policy Diffusion...13

Illustration 1...19

CCTP Effectiveness Studies...23

Presentation of Hypotheses...25
Research Design...28

Introducing the Research Design...28
Measuring the Likelihood of CCTP adoption...28

Illustration 2...31
Table 1...32

Data Collection, Units of Analysis, and Levels of Measurement...40

Quantitative Analysis...45

Tests...45
Tests with Additional Economic Variables...52

Familias en Accion: Emulating Success...55

The Recession of 1999...54
Applying the Theories...57
Emulating PROGRESA: The birth of Familias en Accion...59
Regional applicability: Macroeconomic Anti-Shock Strategy...61

Discussion and Further Research...64
Conclusions...69
Codebook...71
Appendix (I): General CCTP Adoption Information...74
Appendix (II): Inequality in Latin America...79
Appendix (III): Economic Growth in Latin America...80
Appendix (IV): Population Measures in Latin America...85
Appendix (V): Quantitative Results...87

Illustrations of tests with imputations for poverty and inequality measures...87
Illustrations of tests without imputations...92

References...94

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