CIPR | Center For Inter-American Policy & Research

Tulane University

Sean Higgins' Honors Thesis to be Published in Journal of Politics and Society

April 10th, 2012

Sean Higgins, Ph.D. Student and B.S. ’11 in Economics and a member of the Commitment to Equity Research team, had his senior honors thesis accepted for publication in Columbia University’s Journal of Politics and Society. His thesis examines the impact of Brazil’s flagship anti-poverty program Bolsa Familia on poverty, adjusting incomes by a spatial price index and defining poverty as the inability to buy a basket of basic needs in one’s region.

Sean’s thesis formally tests the hypothesis that the cash transfer program has had a larger impact on poverty in Brazil’s most rural states than in its most urban states. After identifying a rural bias at the state level, he uses a probit regression and finds that poor rural households are more likely than poor urban ones to escape poverty due to Bolsa Familia.