Abstract

The latest president in Latin America to adopt social funds on a large scale as an integral part of his government program has been Hugo Chávez Frías of Venezuela. Based on the literature on clientelism and social funds in Latin America, this article finds that Venezuela's latest experiments with social funds were influenced by political variables. It uses empirical data from the distribution of resources for some of the subnational misiones programs to show how, given increased levels of electoral competition and weak institutional constraints, the government used these funds clientelistically, even while distributing oil income to the very poor. Chávez's misiones served two very different purposes: to manipulate the political context and to distribute funds directly to the low-income population.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1548-2456
Print ISSN
1531-426X
Pages
pp. 63-84
Launched on MUSE
2007-12-13
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Archived 2007
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