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The Price of Political Opposition: Evidence from Venezuela's Maisanta

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  • Chang-Tai Hsieh
  • Edward Miguel
  • Daniel Ortega
  • Francisco Rodriguez

Abstract

In 2004, the Chávez regime in Venezuela distributed the list of several million voters whom had attempted to remove him from office throughout the government bureaucracy, allegedly to identify and punish these voters. We match the list of petition signers distributed by the government to household survey respondents to measure the economic effects of being identified as a Chavez political opponent. We find that voters who were identified as Chavez opponents experienced a 5 percent drop in earnings and a 1.5 percentage point drop in employment rates after the voter list was released. A back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests that the loss aggregate TFP from the misallocation of workers across jobs was substantial, on the order of 3 percent of GDP.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14923.

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Date of creation: Apr 2009
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Publication status: published as Hsieh, Chang-Tai, Edward Miguel, Daniel Ortega, and Francisco Rodriguez. 2011. "The Price of Political Opposition: Evidence from Venezuela's Maisanta." American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 3(2): 196-214. DOI: 10.1257/app.3.2.196
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14923

Note: EFG LS PE POL
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  1. Rasmus Lentz & Dale T. Mortensen, 2005. "An Empirical Model of Growth Through Product Innovation," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2005-004, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  2. Alberto Alesina & Dani Rodrik, 1991. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3668, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Roubini, Nouriel & Swagel, Phillip & Ozler, Sule & Alesina, Alberto, 1996. "Political Instability and Economic Growth," Scholarly Articles 4553024, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Robert E. Hall & Paul R. Milgrom, 2007. "The Limited Influence of Unemployment on the Wage Bargain," Levine's Bibliography 321307000000000135, UCLA Department of Economics.
  5. Ferguson, Thomas & Voth, Hans-Joachim, 2005. "Betting on Hitler - The Value of Political Connections in Nazi Germany," CEPR Discussion Papers 5021, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Jack Hirshleifer, 1991. "The Paradox Of Power," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(3), pages 177-200, November.
  7. Alesina, Alberto, et al, 1996. " Political Instability and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 189-211, June.
  8. Raymond Fisman, 2001. "Estimating the Value of Political Connections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 1095-1102, September.
  9. Asim Ijaz Khwaja & Atif Mian, 2005. "Do Lenders Favor Politically Connected Firms? Rent Provision in an Emerging Financial Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(4), pages 1371-1411, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Gonzalez, Naihobe & Oyelere, Ruth Uwaifo, 2011. "Are returns to education on the decline in Venezuela and does Mission Sucre have a role to play?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1348-1369.

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