Date of Award

2020

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Political Science

Abstract

Latin America is the most unequal region across the globe. Inequality has increased the election of populist leaders and has resulted in massive social movements and protests in the region. Nevertheless, at the beginning of the 2000s, a process of inequality reduction started in the majority of the countries. Since the end of the 1990s, a large number of Latin American countries were the world pioneers developing Conditional Cash Transfers (CCTs), to put money in the hands of the poor with the conditions of school attendance and nutritional check-ups for their children. Most of the studies have analyzed the effectiveness of CCTs in how the conditions are met; some of them have also measured the impact on poverty. Nevertheless, few studies have evaluated the impact of CCTs on the reduction of inequality. For this reason, this dissertation's main question is: Have CCTs reduced inequality and poverty in Latin America?

This dissertation measures and compares the fiscal redistribution, develops a model of decomposition of the Gini index, and elaborates a counterfactual analysis in order to measure the impact of CCTs on inequality and poverty in Chile, Colombia, and Mexico. Moreover, this dissertation analyzes the efficiency of CCTs. First finding, some results are not the expected ones. CCTs have a marginal impact on inequality, a slight impact on poverty, and varying results regarding the efficiency of CCTs. A relationship can be established between the size, in terms of budget, and number of beneficiaries of a CCT program and its impact on poverty. Second finding, as was expected, there is an inverse relationship between the size of a CCT and its efficiency.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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