How Political Competition Fuels Conditional Cash Transfer Programs: The Case of Brazil’s Bolsa Familia Program


The Brazilian social welfare program Bolsa Família represents the world's largest conditional cash transfer (CCT) program. Similar CCT programs have been implemented throughout Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia, bringing governmental assistance to the most marginalized and impoverished families worldwide. The political science research on the subject has examined the extent to which the targeted implementation of CCTs has proved an efficient electoral strategy for national political incumbents. Here, we want to reverse the causal arrow to consider the impact of local political competition on CCT program enrollment and implementation.