Electoral reciprocity in programmatic redistribution: Evidence from Honduran experiments
Last registered on August 23, 2016

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Electoral reciprocity in programmatic redistribution: Evidence from Honduran experiments
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0001513
Initial registration date
August 23, 2016
Last updated
August 23, 2016 3:08 PM EDT
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Wellesley College
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
University of Maryland
Additional Trial Information
Status
Completed
Start date
2011-09-09
End date
2013-11-23
Secondary IDs
Abstract
This paper analyzes the impact of Honduran conditional cash transfers on turnout and incumbent vote share in presidential elections, using two randomized experiments. Before the 2001 presidential elections, the PRAF-II experiment randomly assigned households in 40 of 70 municipalities to receive small conditional cash transfers, only intended to cover the costs of complying with education and health conditions (Galiani and McEwan, 2013; IFPRI, 2000). Then, in late 2011, the Bono 10,000 experiment randomly assigned 816 villages to three treatment arms. Of these, 150 of these were randomly selected for the treatment group, and another 150 were randomly selected for the control group. The former received the treatment immediately after the baseline was completed, and the latter received it immediately after the evaluation’s endline survey was completed (but 5 months before the 2013 elections, a choice that turned out to be useful for our research). The remaining 516 villages were not monitored by the evaluation team, and received transfers according to standard procedures. We refer to the three groups as CCT1, CCT2, and CCT3. CCT1 received the largest cumulative transfers (by design, substantially larger than PRAF-II). CCT2 and CCT3 received the same cumulative amounts, but much less than CCT1. However, CCT2 received its payments closer to the election than CCT3. Thus, the two experiments provide variation in both the cumulative amount and the timing of payment sequences. However, both experiments were objectively targeted at poor geographic areas with more than 10% of Honduran voters, and both policies were both administered by the same government agency.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Galiani, Sebastian and Patrick McEwan. 2016. "Electoral reciprocity in programmatic redistribution: Evidence from Honduran experiments." AEA RCT Registry. August 23. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.1513-1.0.
Former Citation
Galiani, Sebastian, Patrick McEwan and Patrick McEwan. 2016. "Electoral reciprocity in programmatic redistribution: Evidence from Honduran experiments." AEA RCT Registry. August 23. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/1513/history/10338.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Intervention Start Date
2011-09-09
Intervention End Date
2013-11-23
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Voter behavior in the 2013 presidential election. The variables include:
(1) Voter turnout: the percent of a village's registered voters that vote for any candidate.
(2) Vote share: the percent of a village's registered voters that vote for a political party (including the National Party, the Liberal Party, LIBRE, and PAC).
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
Bono 10,000 was launched in 2010 with loans from the Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank, and the Central American Bank for Economic Integration, as well as the requirement of an external evaluation. A household received L 10,000 per year if it: (1) resided in a poor village; (2) passed a proxy means test; and (3) enrolled at least one child between 6 and 18 in grades 1 to 9 (Benedetti et al., 2016). The enrollment condition was weaker than PRAF-II, since multi-child households still received the transfer if only one child enrolled. A household received the smaller transfer of L 5,000 if it: (1) included registered children under 6 and pregnant or nursing mothers in a health center, and (2) did not include older, school-aged children. The average household was eligible for annual transfers equal to 18% of median per-capita expenditure (Benedetti et al., 2016).

Of 3,727 villages (aldeas) in Honduras, 816 were eligible for random assignment. In September 2011, 150 of these were randomly selected (without stratification) for the treatment group, and another 150 were randomly selected for the control group. The former received the treatment immediately, and the latter received it immediately after the evaluation’s endline survey was completed (but 5 months before the November 2013 elections). The remaining 516 villages were not monitored by the evaluation team, and received transfers according to standard procedures. We refer to the three arms, respectively, as CCT1, CCT2, and CCT3.

According to program rules, treated households were to receive payments in three installments per year. The first was a small, unconditional payment (1/12 of the total) received at the time of household registration. The second and third were payable upon verification of compliance with the conditions. In practice, administrative data suggest variation in the amount and timing of the payments across the treatment arms. Villages in CCT1 received large payments, on average, just after the study’s baseline surveys were conducted, and just before the endline surveys were to begin. Villages in CCT2 were excluded from the treatment until the final endline survey was conducted on June 23, 2013, although they subsequently received “catch-up” payments.

Finally, villages in CCT3 received transfers at PRAF’s discretion, with a steady increase in the transfers per eligible voter. By election day on November 23, the average CCT1 village had received L 1,773 more per voter than either CCT2 or CCT3. CCT2 and CCT3 received about the same cumulative amount, but CCT2 villages received it closer to the election. Even compared with the upper-bound estimates of PRAF-II payments, the data show that eligible voters in Bono 10,000 villages received substantially larger payments prior to the election.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Public lottery attended by participating government and non-governmental organizations. Numbered balls selected from bin (without stratification).
Randomization Unit
Honduran villages (aldeas).
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
816
Sample size: planned number of observations
816
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
(1) 150 villages receiving conditional cash transfers soon after randomization on June 18, 2012 (following baseline data collection for earlier impact evaluation).
(2) 150 villages receiving conditional cash transfers soon after June 23, 2013 (following endline data collection for earlier study).
(3) 516 villages receiving conditional cash transfers at discretion of PRAF.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
No
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No
Program Files
Program Files
Reports and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers