Assistant Professor of Economics Emily Conover published a paper "Manipulation of Social Program Eligibility" (co-authored with Adriana Camacho) in the American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, Vol. 3, Issue 2, May 2011.
Conover explains the thesis of the paper in the abstract: "We document how manipulation of a targeting system for social welfare programs evolves over time. First, there was strategic behavior of some local politicians in the timing of the household interviews around local elections. Then, there was corrupt behavior with the sudden emergence of a sharp discontinuity in the score density, exactly at the eligibility threshold, which coincided with the release of the score algorithm to local officials. The discontinuity at the threshold is larger where mayoral elections are more competitive. While cultural forces are surely relevant for corruption, our results also highlight the importance of information and incentives."