Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Latin American Studies (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Joaquín Roy

Second Committee Member

Ambler H. Moss

Third Committee Member

Lilian E. Yaffe


This thesis explores the effects of Mexico’s most famous Conditional Cash Transfer program (CCT program), Oportunidades, on presidential elections in 2006 and 2012. In addition, this paper will investigate this topic from a gender perspective which will lead us to re-think the gender-gap in voting decisions among beneficiary families. In addition, this paper provides a new perspective from which to view remittances’ effects on beneficiaries’ voting decisions. The majority of research about CCT programs were conducted on the basis of Latin American presidential election results during which time those CCT programs were started at the initial stage or were implemented for a short period. This thesis is concerned with examining the most recent presidential elections. A mixed method will be used to investigate and understand the effects. Using open data from Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP), Multinomial Logistic Regression will give more analytic results through data. At the same time, some in-depth interviews will help to better explain this complex situation. This thesis argument is that beneficiaries were more likely to improve the incumbent party’s electoral performance than non-beneficiaries in Mexican presidential elections in 2006 and 2012. Further, in terms of gendered aspects, in beneficiary families, women were more likely to vote for the incumbent party because they hold the cash grants directly, while the results were not consistent in different years. In families that receive remittances and CCT cash grants at the same time, beneficiaries were far more likely to vote for the incumbent party, but only the result of the year 2010 is reliable. Now the incumbent Mexican president, Enrique Peña Nieto, faces unprecedented challenges. It is hard to say whether the beneficiaries of the Mexican CCT program will stick to their vote decisions.


Conditional Cash Transfer program; Oportunidades; presidential elections; gender; remittances; beneficiaries