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Government Transfers and Political Support

Listed author(s):
  • Marco Manacorda
  • Edward Miguel
  • Andrea Vigorito

This paper estimates the impact of a large anti-poverty cash transfer program, the Uruguayan PANES, on political support for the government that implemented it. Using the discontinuity in program assignment based on a pretreatment eligibility score, we find that beneficiary households are 11 to 13 percentage points more likely to favor the current government relative to the previous government. Political support effects persist after the program ends. Our results are consistent with theories of rational but poorly informed voters who use policy to infer politicians' redistributive preferences or competence, as well as with behavioral economics explanations grounded in reciprocity. (JEL D72, H23, H53, I38, O15, O17)

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/app.3.3.1
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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aej/app/data/2010-0121_data.zip
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 3 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 1-28

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:3:y:2011:i:3:p:1-28
Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.3.3.1
Contact details of provider: Web page: https://www.aeaweb.org/aej-applied
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  1. Lemieux, Thomas & Milligan, Kevin, 2006. "Incentive Effects of Social Assistance: A Regression Discontinuity Approach," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2006280e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  2. Elinder, Mikael & Jordahl, Henrik & Poutvaara, Panu, 2008. "Selfish and Prospective: Theory and Evidence of Pocketbook Voting," IZA Discussion Papers 3763, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  10. Cole, Shawn & Healy, Andrew & Werker, Eric, 2012. "Do voters demand responsive governments? Evidence from Indian disaster relief," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 167-181.
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  12. David Card & Raj Chetty & Andrea Weber, 2006. "Cash-on-Hand and Competing Models of Intertemporal Behavior: New Evidence from the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 12639, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. David S. Lee & David Card, 2006. "Regression Discontinuity Inference with Specification Error," NBER Technical Working Papers 0322, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. S. Dellavigna., 2011. "Psychology and Economics: Evidence from the Field," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 5.
  15. McCrary, Justin, 2008. "Manipulation of the running variable in the regression discontinuity design: A density test," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 698-714, February.
  16. 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.
  17. Case, A, 1996. "Election Goals and Income Redistribution : Recent Evidence from Albania," Papers 177, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  18. Laura B. Rawlings, 2005. "Evaluating the Impact of Conditional Cash Transfer Programs," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 20(1), pages 29-55.
  19. Dahlberg, Matz & Johansson, Eva, 1999. "On the Vote Purchasing Behavior of Incumbent Governments," Working Paper Series 1999:24, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  20. Adriana Camacho & Emily Conover, 2009. "Manipulation of Social Program Eligibility: Detection, Explanations and Consequences for Empirical Research," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 006211, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
  21. Simonsohn, Uri & Karlsson, Niklas & Loewenstein, George & Ariely, Dan, 2008. "The tree of experience in the forest of information: Overweighing experienced relative to observed information," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 263-286, January.
  22. John DiNardo & David S. Lee, 2004. "Economic Impacts of New Unionization on Private Sector Employers: 1984–2001," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1383-1441.
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