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Title: The role of the state in alleviating poverty : the Mexican case and Oportunidades
Author: Becerril Velasco, Christian Iván
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis explores the role of the Mexican state in alleviating poverty. For more than fifteen uninterrupted years, compensatory conditional cash transfer programmes (CCTs) have been used with the purpose of alleviating poverty in Mexico. The main idea behind these programmes is to provide a minimum income to the poorest so that they invest it in the education and health of their children, who, once educated and healthy, would acquire capabilities that would enable them to keep on obtaining an income in the labour market in the mid and long-term to move out of poverty by their own efforts. During this period, the CCTs have had many positive effects on the well-being of the poor and in particular they have helped to diminish the number of unskilled workers in Mexico. However, there is little evidence that proves that the programme is achieving its main goal. Moreover, poverty has kept growing over the years. In recent decades, it has been demonstrated that within developing countries strong institutionalization of the labour market has not only ameliorated the impacts of the global transformation initiated in the 1970s and 1980s but it has also been more important in alleviating poverty than high educational levels. For instance, in Brazil the positive results of their CCT programme (Bolsa Familia) have been in part the result of the strengthening of their institutional capacities, which allowed them to complement the programme effectively with training and labour market policies that enable the ex-recipients to obtain sustained income. Using a mixture of qualitative and quantitative methods, we assessed the extent to which the weakness of the institutional capacities of the Mexican state, among other important factors, has impeded the current Mexican CCT programme known as Oportunidades from enabling the ex-recipients to obtain a sustained income in the labour market. Our results show that the weakness of the institutional capacities of the Mexican state makes poverty alleviation much less likely to occur because it impedes the provision of training and labour market policies that complement the programme and enable the poor to obtain a sustained income.
Supervisor: Haagh, Louise Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available