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State Healthcare and the Impact of Remittances on Turnout in Mexico


  • Ana Isabel Lopez Garcia

    () (El Colegio de la Frontera Norte, Mexico and the German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Germany)


In Mexico remittances have long been used to compensate for the lack of coverage and quality of state-provided healthcare. Since the mid-2000s, however, those without insurance have been entitled to receive free healthcare via the Seguro Popular programme. While popular, the delivery of this scheme is highly localised and therefore vulnerable to political manipulation. Using a series of regression models based on data at the municipality level, this paper analyses all local elections in Mexico between 2010 and 2012 and the presidential election of 2012 to confirm results of the previous literature which found a negative relationship between remittances and voter turnout. However, the analysis reveals that the negative impact of remittances on turnout becomes larger with additional increases in the coverage of Seguro Popular, though only in those municipalities where the PRI (the former hegemonic party) is electorally strong. The evidence thus confirms that the discretionary character of welfare provision modulates the effect of remittances on turnout in sending municipalities, but only where party-based authoritarianism prevails.

Suggested Citation

  • Ana Isabel Lopez Garcia, 2016. "State Healthcare and the Impact of Remittances on Turnout in Mexico," Remittances Review, Transnational Press London, UK, vol. 1(1), pages 65-104, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:mig:remrev:v:1:y:2016:i:1:p:65-104

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes & Tania Sainz & Susan Pozo, 2007. "Remittances and healthcare expenditure patterns of populations in origin communities : evidence from Mexico," INTAL Working Papers 1450, Inter-American Development Bank, INTAL.
    2. Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes & Susan Pozo, 2011. "New evidence on the role of remittances on healthcare expenditures by Mexican households," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 69-98, March.
    3. Azuara, Oliver & Marinescu, Ioana, 2013. "Informality and the expansion of social protection programs: Evidence from Mexico," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 938-950.
    4. Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes & Tania Sainz & Susan Pozo, 2007. "Remittances and Healthcare Expenditure Patterns of Populations in Origin Communities: Evidence from Mexico," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 9355, Inter-American Development Bank.
    5. repec:idb:brikps:35338 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Fox, Jonathan A, 1994. "The Difficult Transition from Clientelism to Citizenship: Lessons from Mexico," Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, Working Paper Series qt4n4746hk, Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, UC Santa Cruz.
    7. Pfutze, Tobias, 2012. "Does migration promote democratization? Evidence from the Mexican transition," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 159-175.
    8. Taylor, J. Edward & Mora, Jorge, 2006. "Does migration reshape expenditures in rural households? Evidence from Mexico," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3842, The World Bank.
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