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Does elite capture matter? : local elites and targeted welfare programs in Indonesia

Author: Vivi Alatas; National Bureau of Economic Research.
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : National Bureau of Economic Research, ©2013.
Series: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. 18798.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
This paper investigates the impact of elite capture on the allocation of targeted government welfare programs in Indonesia, using both a high-stakes field experiment that varied the extent of elite influence and non-experimental data on a variety of existing government transfer programs. Conditional on their consumption level, there is little evidence that village elites and their relatives are more likely to  Read more...
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Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Vivi Alatas; National Bureau of Economic Research.
OCLC Number: 827933429
Notes: Title from http://www.nber.org/papers/18798 viewed February 18, 2013.
"February 2013."
Has an online appendix (19 p.).
Description: 1 online resource (41 pages).
Series Title: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. 18798.
Responsibility: Vivi Alatas [and others].

Abstract:

This paper investigates the impact of elite capture on the allocation of targeted government welfare programs in Indonesia, using both a high-stakes field experiment that varied the extent of elite influence and non-experimental data on a variety of existing government transfer programs. Conditional on their consumption level, there is little evidence that village elites and their relatives are more likely to receive aid programs than non-elites. However, this overall result masks stark differences between different types of elites: those holding formal leadership positions are more likely to receive benefits, while informal leaders are less likely to receive them. We show that capture by formal elites occurs when program benefits are actually distributed to households, and not during the processes of determining who should be on the beneficiary lists. However, while elite capture exists, the welfare losses it creates appear small: since formal elites and their relatives are only 9 percent richer than non-elites, are at most about 8 percentage points more likely to receive benefits than non-elites, and represent at most 15 percent of the population, eliminating elite capture entirely would improve the welfare gains from these programs by less than one percent.

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