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Land and Power: Theory and Evidence from Chile

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  • Jean-Marie Baland
  • James A. Robinson

Abstract

Many employment relationships concede rents to workers. 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, such as their votes in the absence of secret ballot. We examine the effects of the introduction of the secret ballot in Chile in 1958 on voting behavior. Before the reforms, localities with more pervasive patron-client relationships tended 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. (JEL D72, N46, O13, O15, O17)

Suggested Citation

  • Jean-Marie Baland & James A. Robinson, 2008. "Land and Power: Theory and Evidence from Chile," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1737-1765, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:98:y:2008:i:5:p:1737-65
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.98.5.1737
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • N46 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Latin America; Caribbean
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements

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