The political economy of cash transfer programmes in Brazil, Pakistan and the Philippines - When do governments ‘leave no one behind’?
• Pro-poor policies, such as cash transfers, hold wide appeal for politicians in times of economic crises because of the visibility and high level of international support available for such measures.
• The political returns to politicians from a widespread pro-poor policy are significant: they potentially expand their voter base.
• The highly visible link between the politician and cash transfers has mobilised politicians to invest in state capacity and reach eligible citizens.
• Methods of selecting eligible participants and delivering cash has allowed local politicians to gain electoral mileage from central government actions.
• In the longer term, it can be very difficult for subsequent regimes to dismantle far-reaching propoor programmes without risking high levels of unpopularity. Consequently, future governments try to establish ownership over the programmes by improving and/or expanding them.