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The Political Economy of Expenditures by the Peruvian Social Fund (FONCODES), 1991–95

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 August 2014

Norbert R. Schady
The World Bank
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The Peruvian Social Fund (FONCODES) was created by President Alberto Fujimori in 1991 with the stated objectives of generating employment, alleviating poverty, and improving access to social services. This article uses province-level data on monthly expenditures, socioeconomic indicators, and electoral outcomes to analyze political influences on the timing and geographic distribution of FONCODES expenditures between 1991 and 1995. I reach three main conclusions. First, these expenditures increased significantly before national elections. Second, FONCODES projects were directed at provinces in which the marginal political effect of expenditures was likely to be largest. Third, these projects favored the poorest provinces, which suggests that the program also had a redistributive function. The results are robust to a large number of specifications and controls. The Peruvian data support predictions made in the literature on political business cycles as well as the literature on political influences on the allocation of discretionary funds.

Copyright © American Political Science Association 2000

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