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My (running) mate, the mayor: Political ties and access to public sector jobs in Ecuador


  • Brassiolo, Pablo
  • Estrada, Ricardo
  • Fajardo, Gustavo


We show that local politicians' probability of being employed by a municipality increases when they have a strong party connection to its mayor. Using a regression discontinuity design, we compare the employment outcomes of individuals connected to the winner vis-à-vis those connected to the runner-up in close mayoral races in Ecuador. Among candidates to local councils who lose their bid, the probability of getting a job in the municipality increases tenfold when their own party's mayoral nominee is elected. The effect is very strong for low-ranking positions, which suggests that it is the result of political patronage. Three additional results shed light on where patronage is more likely to emerge. First, the effect is stronger in poorer municipalities, where public sector jobs are more valuable. Second, benefits go largely to politicians better positioned within the party structure. Third, the effect is concentrated among younger mayors, who have a longer career ahead of them to capitalize clientelist arrangements.

Suggested Citation

  • Brassiolo, Pablo & Estrada, Ricardo & Fajardo, Gustavo, 2020. "My (running) mate, the mayor: Political ties and access to public sector jobs in Ecuador," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 191(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:191:y:2020:i:c:s004727272030150x
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2020.104286

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    Bureaucracy; Close elections; Patronage; Public sector employment;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • H70 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - General
    • J45 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Public Sector Labor Markets
    • M5 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics


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