The impacts of conditional cash transfers in four presidential elections (2002-2014)

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This research note examines the electoral impacts of Conditional Cash Transfer programs in the 2014 presidential election, and compares these to results previously obtained for the preceding three elections (ZUCCO, 2013). It analyzes both individual-level survey data and municipal-level electoral data and applies different matching techniques to attempt to ensure that only similar individuals and municipalities are compared to each other. The note shows that although the strictly defined electoral effect of Bolsa Família at the municipality level has remained quite similar to what was found in the past elections, there seems to have been a sharp increase in the aggregate effects, observed at the municipality level. I conjecture that the increased polarization among non-beneficiaries is the possible cause of the changes observed in the last election and suggest that examining the indirect electoral effect of Bolsa Família over non-beneficiaries is a promising avenue for future research.

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