Assistant Professor of Economics Emily Conover presented the paper “Conditional Cash Transfers, Political Participation and Voting Behavior” at the Vassar College Economics Seminar Series on April 23. In the paper, Conover and co-authors evaluate the effect of enrollment in a Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program on the intent to vote and on electoral choice.
In the last 15 years CCT programs have been widely used as a poverty reduction tool in developing countries. Many CCT programs provide monetary transfers to mothers in poor households, conditional on their children’s school attendance and medical check-ups.
Conover and co-authors find that a large scale Colombian CCT program that benefited more than 12 million people increased voting registration, turnout, and support for the incumbent party candidate whose party expanded the program. The size of the effects they document does not fully explain the final outcome of the presidential elections, but their direction indicates that the CCT program mobilizes people to vote and influences their electoral choice.