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The Real Winner's Curse

Author

Listed:
  • Leopoldo Fergusson
  • Pablo Querubin
  • Nelson A. Ruiz
  • Juan F. Vargas

Abstract

Traditional theories of democracy suggest that political representation of excluded groups can reduce their incentives to engage in conflict and lead to lower violence. However, this argument ignores the response of established elites when (1) their interests are threatened by the policy stance of new political actors and (2) elites have a comparative advantage in the exercise of violence. Using a regression discontinuity approach, we show that the narrow election of previously excluded left‐wing parties to local executive office in Colombia results in a one standard deviation increase in violent events by right‐wing paramilitaries. We interpret this surge in violence as a reaction of traditional elites to offset the increase in outsiders' access to formal political power. Consistent with this interpretation, we find that violence by left‐wing guerrillas and other actors is unaffected and that violence is not influenced by the victory of right‐wing or other new parties in close elections.

Suggested Citation

  • Leopoldo Fergusson & Pablo Querubin & Nelson A. Ruiz & Juan F. Vargas, 2021. "The Real Winner's Curse," American Journal of Political Science, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 65(1), pages 52-68, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:amposc:v:65:y:2021:i:1:p:52-68
    DOI: 10.1111/ajps.12508
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    1. Leopoldo Fergusson & Arturo Harker & Carlos Molina & Juan Camilo Yamín, 2023. "Political incentives and corruption evidence from ghost students," Documentos CEDE 20732, Universidad de los Andes, Facultad de Economía, CEDE.
    2. Leopoldo Fergusson & Juan F. Vargas, 2023. "Colombia: Democratic but Violent?," Springer Books, in: Felipe Valencia Caicedo (ed.), Roots of Underdevelopment, pages 285-316, Springer.
    3. Torres, Santiago, 2023. "Close Elections Regression Discontinuity Designs in Multi-seat Systems," Documentos CEDE 20292, Universidad de los Andes, Facultad de Economía, CEDE.
    4. Juan F. Vargas & Miguel E. Purroy & Felipe Coy & Sergio Perilla & Mounu Prem, 2023. "Fear to Vote: Explosions, Salience, and Elections," HiCN Working Papers 398, Households in Conflict Network.
    5. Rozo, Sandra V. & Vargas, Juan F., 2021. "Brothers or invaders? How crisis-driven migrants shape voting behavior," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 150(C).
    6. Mounu Prem & Andrés F. Rivera & Dario A. Romero & Juan F. Vargas, 2018. "Killing Social Leaders for Territorial Control: The Unintended Consequences of Peace," Documentos de Trabajo 16385, Universidad del Rosario.
    7. Leopoldo Fergusson & Juan F. Vargas & Mauricio A. Vela, 2013. "Sunlight Disinfects? Free Media in Weak Democracies," Documentos CEDE 10487, Universidad de los Andes, Facultad de Economía, CEDE.
    8. Leopoldo Fergusson, 2019. "Who wants violence? The political economy of conflict and state building in Colombia," Revista Cuadernos de Economia, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, FCE, CID, vol. 38(78), pages 671-700, November.
    9. Vargas, Juan F. & Purroy, Miguel E. & Coy, Felipe & Perilla, Sergio & Prem, Mounu, 2022. "Do explosions shape voting behavior?," SocArXiv dw9vn, Center for Open Science.
    10. Fergusson, Leopoldo & Robinson, James A. & Torres, Santiago, 2023. "The interaction of economic and political inequality in Latin America," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 122083, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    11. Morales, Juan S., 2021. "Legislating during war: Conflict and politics in Colombia," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 193(C).
    12. Leopoldo Fergusson & Carlos Molina & Juan Felipe Riaño, 2018. "I Sell My Vote, and So What? Incidence, Social Bias, and Correlates of Clientelism in Colombia," Economía Journal, The Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association - LACEA, vol. 0(Fall 2018), pages 181-218, November.
    13. Galindo-Silva, Hector & Tchuente, Guy, 2021. "Fighting for not-So-Religious souls: The role of religious competition in secular conflicts," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 191(C), pages 127-152.

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    JEL classification:

    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions

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