the widespread view that income transfers help to reduce the incidence of poverty has been asserted by many policymakers and citizens who support income transfer programs in brazil. nevertheless, a number of analysts contend that such programs are in fact ineffective in reducing poverty, because only a small share of the income that is transferred actually reaches the poor, or because such programs create a poverty trap. this article peruses this issue investigating the relationship between poverty and government income transfer in brazil, over the period 2000-2008, controlling for other relevant variables that may affect poverty such as economic growth, inequality, education, unemployment and the number of female-headed families. results from dynamic panel data models, proposed by arellano e bond (1991) and blundell e bond (1998), indicate that poverty is not affected by government income transfers, which support the critic view that income transfer programs in brazil do not have the expect effect on poverty. among other findings, education and inequality play an important role in the recent poverty dynamics in brazil.