The second pattern strategic emphasises the shaping of designs and uses of such technologies by different stakeholder groups. Analysis can then generate opportunities for the use of power by individuals and governments. In the Colombian case we find that these patterns are intertwined and require us to go deeper in thinking about the context of relations between individuals and their governments. The findings also raise issues that can inform implementation strategies.
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Carlos Medina and Leonardo Morales There is ample consensus about the desirability of subsidizing the consumption of public utility services because of the positive externalities that result when they are supplied and the high public costs generated by their absence. On that basis, most Latin American countries subsidize the supply of services and constantly try to improve their targeting systems while minimizing social losses associated with the subsidy schemes.
Because of the variety of alternatives and the socioeconomic and cultural diversity of the countries of the region, no regional consensus exists on how subsidies should be targeted. To the problem of lack of technical consensus can be added the difficulty of reforming the targeting systems derived from the complex political economy of subsidy policies in the region.
That difficulty has become even greater [End Page 41] because some governments in the area have sought to consolidate their power base by subsidizing services to the poor. A great deal of Colombian policy to improve social equity through public spending has focused on guaranteeing access to public utility services by the needy population.
In fact, the targeting strategy used to provide SPD subsidies has become one of the criteria in the poverty and welfare measurement methodologies used to target most social public spending in the country.
The country has several studies that have quantified SPD public expenditure amounts and determined the way that they are distributed among households of different income levels. However, there are no studies that quantify how much of the expenditure actually goes in the form of a subsidy into the pockets of the households living in subsidized housing units rather than being transferred or distorting factors such as relative housing prices.
This paper presents a quantification of the incidence of SPD subsidies and contributions on housing prices, which it uses to estimate the net subsidy that the government transfers to households and actually stays in households' pockets.
We test the hypothesis that subsidies or contributions play a role in determining housing prices, so that we can identify some of the limitations of the current system of targeting subsidies for public utility services. To quantify the incidence of SPD subsidies on house prices, we estimate hedonic price equations, applying a regression discontinuity approach as our identification strategy.
However, the institutional framework that governs the SPD subsidy targeting policy is the same countrywide, so we expect our findings to apply across Colombia's main cities.
We find that the estimated increment in house value due to subsidies is similar in magnitude to the present value of the flow of subsidies, discounted at reasonable market rates. We find comparable effects when we assess the effect of subsidies on leasing prices. That finding leads us to conclude that in Colombia the goal of subsidy financing for the poor population through government spending on public utility services is not being achieved.
The final effect of most of the government spending in this regard is the distortion of housing prices in different socioeconomic strata. While the public sector in Colombia distributes approximately 0.
We begin by presenting background information on Colombia, describing the country's targeting principles and the way that it has consolidated its targeting strategy. We then summarize the findings of related studies, describe our methodology and data, and give the results of empirical exercises.
Finally, we present the conclusions. Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide. Forged from a partnership between a university press and a library, Project MUSE is a trusted part of the academic and scholarly community it serves.
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Three patterns to understand e‐government: the case of Colombia