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Politicians’ Luck of the Draw: Evidence from the Spanish Christmas Lottery

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  • Manuel Bagues
  • Berta Esteve-Volart

Abstract

Incumbent politicians tend to receive more votes when economic conditions are good. In this paper we explore the source of this correlation, exploiting the exceptional evidence provided by the Spanish Christmas Lottery. Because winning tickets are typically sold by one lottery outlet, winners tend to be geographically clustered. This allows us to study the impact of exogenous good economic conditions on voting behavior. We find that incumbents receive significantly more votes in winning provinces. The evidence is consistent with a temporary increase in happiness making voters more lenient toward the incumbent, or with a stronger preference for the status quo.

Suggested Citation

  • Manuel Bagues & Berta Esteve-Volart, 2016. "Politicians’ Luck of the Draw: Evidence from the Spanish Christmas Lottery," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 124(5), pages 1269-1294.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:doi:10.1086/688178
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    Cited by:

    1. Liberini, Federica & Redoano, Michela & Proto, Eugenio, 2017. "Happy voters," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 146(C), pages 41-57.
    2. Markku Kaustia & Samuli Knüpfer & Sami Torstila, 2016. "Stock Ownership and Political Behavior: Evidence from Demutualizations," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 62(4), pages 945-963, April.
    3. Gonzalez, Libertad, 2011. "The Effects of a Universal Child Benefit," IZA Discussion Papers 5994, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Raymond P. Guiteras & Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak, 2015. "Does Development Aid Undermine Political Accountability? Leader and Constituent Responses to a Large-Scale Intervention," NBER Working Papers 21434, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Bratti, Massimiliano & Deiana, Claudio & Havari, Enkelejda & Mazzarella, Gianluca & Meroni, Elena Claudia, 2017. "What Are You Voting For? Proximity to Refugee Reception Centres and Voting in the 2016 Italian Constitutional Referendum," IZA Discussion Papers 11060, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Baldwin Kate & Bhavnani Rikhil R., 2015. "Ancillary Studies of Experiments: Opportunities and Challenges," Journal of Globalization and Development, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 113-146, June.
    7. Drago, Francesco & Galbiati, Roberto & Sobbrio, Francesco, 2017. "The Political Cost of Being Soft on Crime: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," CEPR Discussion Papers 12097, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Francesco Drago & Roberto Galbiati & Francesco Sobbrio, 2017. "Voters' Response to Public Policies: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," CESifo Working Paper Series 6826, CESifo Group Munich.
    9. Agarwal, Sumit & Mikhed, Vyacheslav & Scholnick, Barry, 2016. "Does inequality cause financial distress? Evidence from lottery winners and neighboring bankruptcies," Working Papers 16-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, revised 21 Oct 2016.
    10. Christian Dippel & Robert Gold & Stephan Heblich, 2015. "Globalization and Its (Dis-)Content: Trade Shocks and Voting Behavior," NBER Working Papers 21812, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Lockwood, Ben, 2017. "Confirmation Bias and Electoral Accountability," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 11(4), pages 471-501, February.
    12. Baldwin, Kate & Bhavnani, Rikhil R., 2013. "Ancillary Experiments: Opportunities and Challenges," WIDER Working Paper Series 024, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    13. Carlos Viana de Carvalho & Eduardo Zilberman & Ruy Ribeiro, "undated". "Sentiment, Electoral Uncertainty and Stock Returns," Textos para discussão 655, Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).
    14. Geerling, Wayne & Magee, Gary & Raschky, Paul & Smyth, Russell, 2017. "Legally Irrelevant Factors in Judicial Decision-making: Battle Deaths and the Imposition of the Death Penalty in Nazi Germany," MPRA Paper 77159, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Framcisco Cavalcanti & Gianmarco Daniele & Sergio Galletta, 2016. "Popularity shocks and political selection : the effects of anti-corruption audits on candidates' quality," IdEP Economic Papers 1607, USI Università della Svizzera italiana.

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