Land and Power: Theory and Evidence from Chile
AbstractWe study the connection between employment and political control. Many employment relationships concede rents to workers. For example, when worker effort is crucial for production, but only imperfectly observed. We show that, depending on the political institutions, the presence of such rents allows employers to use the threat of withdrawing them to control their workers' political behavior. We thus demonstrate that employment does not simply generate income, it also gives power to control the behavior of others. The analysis focuses on the salient example of political control, where landlords coerce the votes of their workers in the absence of a secret ballot. The model we develop generates predictions about electoral outcomes which can be tested by investigating the impact of the introduction of an effective secret ballot. Such an institutional reform reduces landlords' control, and in consequence, we should observe changes in voting behavior, since workers whose votes were previously controlled and sold can now vote freely. We test the predictions of the model by examining in detail the effects of the introduction of the secret ballot in Chile in 1958. We show that, consistent with our theory, the political reforms led to large changes in voting behavior. Before the reforms, localities with more pervasive patron-client relationships tend to exhibit a much stronger support for the right-wing parties, traditionally associated with the landed oligarchy. After the reform however, this difference across localities completely disappeared.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12517.
Date of creation: Sep 2006
Date of revision:
Note: DAE POL
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
- O54 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Latin America; Caribbean
- Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2006-09-23 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEV-2006-09-23 (Development)
- NEP-LAM-2006-09-23 (Central & South America)
- NEP-POL-2006-09-23 (Positive Political Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Patrick Legros & Andrew Newman, 1996.
"Wealth effects, distribution, and the theory of organization,"
ULB Institutional Repository
2013/7036, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
- Legros, Patrick & Newman, Andrew F., 1996. "Wealth Effects, Distribution, and the Theory of Organization," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 312-341, August.
- Acemoglu,Daron & Robinson,James A., 2009.
"Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy,"
Cambridge University Press, number 9780521671422, October.
- Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2005. "The Economic Effects of Constitutions," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262661926, June.
- Eddie Dekel & Matthew O. Jackson & Asher Wolinsky, 2005.
- Eddie Dekel & Matthew O. Jackson & Asher Wolinsky, 2004. "Vote Buying," Discussion Papers 1386, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Jackson, Matthew O. & Dekel, Eddie & Wolinsky, Asher, 2005. "Vote buying," Working Papers 1215, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
- Piketty, Thomas, 1999. "The information-aggregation approach to political institutions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 791-800, April.
- Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1999.
"Political economics and macroeconomic policy,"
Handbook of Macroeconomics,
in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 22, pages 1397-1482
- Persson, Torsten & Tabellini , Guido, 1997. "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," Seminar Papers 630, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
- Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 1997. "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," NBER Working Papers 6329, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, . "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," Working Papers 121, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
- Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1997. "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 1759, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Persson, T. & Tabellini, G., 1997. "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," Papers 630, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
- Abhijit V. Banerjee & Andrew F. Newman, 1990.
"Occupational Choice and the Process of Development,"
911, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Banerjee, Abhijit V & Newman, Andrew F, 1993. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 274-98, April.
- Gene Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1994.
"Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics,"
NBER Working Papers
4877, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1996. "Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(2), pages 265-86, April.
- Sadoulet, Elisabeth, 1992. "Labor-Service Tenancy Contracts in a Latin American Context," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 1031-42, September.
- Dilip Mookherjee, 1995. "Informational Rents and Property Rights in Land," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 55, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
- James M. Snyder, 1991. "On Buying Legislatures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(2), pages 93-109, 07.
- David P. Baron & Daniel Diermeier, 2001. "Elections, Governments, And Parliaments In Proportional Representation Systems," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(3), pages 933-967, August.
- Piketty, Thomas, 2000. "Voting as Communicating," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(1), pages 169-91, January.
Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.