Oh cynics, you win again…

What accounts for the massive popularity of conditional cash transfer programs in Latin America: Their poverty-fighting prowess? Their social justice ideals?

we find that beneficiary households are 21 to 28 percentage points more likely to favor the current government (relative to the previous government). Impacts on political support are larger among poorer households and for those near the center of the political spectrum…

Effects persist after the cash transfer program ends. We estimate that the annual cost of increasing government political support by 1 percentage point is roughly 0.9% of annual government social expenditures.

That is from a new paper by Manacorda, Miguel and Vigorito.