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Global Development Institute

WP201/2014

The Politics of the diffusion of Conditional Cash Transfers in Latin America

Paola Pena

Is the emergence and rapid expansion of Conditional Cash Transfers (CCTs) in Latin America associated with the turn to the left in Latin American politics? The paper applies a modified version of the Dolowitz and Marsh (2000) Policy Transfer Framework to successive waves of policy diffusion in nineteen countries in the region. The analysis did not find a “New Left” footprint in the motivations, actors, and lesson-drawing processes that characterised the expansion of CCTs. It concludes that social assistance is at the top of the agenda of governments in Latin America regardless of the ideological leaning of ruling coalitions.