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Voters’ responsiveness to public employment policies

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  • Marta Curto-Grau

    ()
    (University of Heidelberg)

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    Abstract

    This paper examines whether the distribution of public employment affects the electoral support for the incumbent government that allocates jobs. To do this we focus on the Spanish Plan for Rural Employment (PER), a program of temporary public employment introduced by the central government in two lagging regions. We evaluate voters’ responsiveness to this policy using municipal-level electoral data and employing an estimator that combines propensity score matching with a difference-indifferences strategy (Heckman et al., Econometrica 65 (1998) 2). We show that the average treatment effect on the treated is a 2 percentage-point increase of the vote share for the ruling party at general elections and we also find evidence of an increase in electoral participation.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB) in its series Working Papers with number 2014/19.

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    Length: 36 pages
    Date of creation: 2014
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ieb:wpaper:2013/6/doc2014-19

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    Related research

    Keywords: Public employment; electoral rewards; difference-in-differences; propensity score matching;

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    1. Peltzman, Sam, 1992. "Voters as Fiscal Conservatives," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 327-61, May.
    2. Alberto Abadie, 2005. "Semiparametric Difference-in-Differences Estimators," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 1-19.
    3. Steven D. Levitt & James M. Snyder, Jr., 1995. "The Impact of Federal Spending on House Election Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 5002, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Gimpelson, Vladimir & Treisman, Daniel & Monusova, Galina, 2000. "Public Employment and Redistributive Politics: Evidence from Russia’s Regions," IZA Discussion Papers 161, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Arulampalam, Wiji & Dasgupta, Sugato & Dhillon, Amrita & Dutta, Bhaskar, 2009. "Electoral goals and center-state transfers: A theoretical model and empirical evidence from India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 103-119, January.
    6. Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra E, 1997. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator: Evidence from Evaluating a Job Training Programme," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(4), pages 605-54, October.
    7. Brender, Adi, 2003. "The effect of fiscal performance on local government election results in Israel: 1989-1998," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(9-10), pages 2187-2205, September.
    8. Solé-Ollé, Albert & Sorribas-Navarro, Pilar, 2008. "The effects of partisan alignment on the allocation of intergovernmental transfers. Differences-in-differences estimates for Spain," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(12), pages 2302-2319, December.
    9. Drazen, Allan & Eslava, Marcela, 2010. "Electoral manipulation via voter-friendly spending: Theory and evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 39-52, May.
    10. Sakurai, Sergio N. & Menezes, Naercio A., 2008. "Fiscal policy and reelection in Brazilian municipalities," Insper Working Papers wpe_117, Insper Working Paper, Insper Instituto de Ensino e Pesquisa.
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