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The Price of Political Opposition: Evidence from Venezuela's Maisanta

  • Hsieh, Chang-Tai
  • Miguel, Edward
  • Ortega, Daniel
  • Rodriguez, Francisco

In 2004, the Chávez regime in Venezuela distributed the list of several million voters whom had attempted to remove him from office throughout the government bureaucracy, allegedly to identify and punish these voters. We match the list of petition signers distributed by the government to household survey respondents to measure the economic effects of being identified as a Chavez political opponent. We find that voters who were identified as Chavez opponents experienced a 5 percent drop in earnings and a 1.5 percentage point drop in employment rates after the voter list was released. A back-of-the envelope calculation suggests that the loss aggregate TFP from the misallocation of workers across jobs was substantial, on the order of 3 percent of GDP.

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Paper provided by Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley in its series Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series with number qt8dx9n9r7.

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Date of creation: 01 Apr 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:ciders:qt8dx9n9r7
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  1. Rasmus Lentz & Dale T. Mortensen, 2005. "An Empirical Model of Growth Through Product Innovation," NBER Working Papers 11546, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Roubini, Nouriel & Swagel, Phillip & Ozler, Sule & Alesina, Alberto, 1996. "Political Instability and Economic Growth," Scholarly Articles 4553024, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Jack Hirshleifer, 1991. "The Paradox Of Power," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(3), pages 177-200, November.
  4. Alesina, Alberto, et al, 1996. " Political Instability and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 189-211, June.
  5. Robert E. Hall & Paul R. Milgrom, 2005. "The Limited Influence of Unemployment on the Wage Bargain," NBER Working Papers 11245, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Joachim Voth & Thomas Ferguson, 2008. "Betting on Hitler: The value of political connections in Nazi Germany," Economics Working Papers 1183, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  7. Rodrik, Dani & Alesina, Alberto, 1994. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," Scholarly Articles 4551798, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. Raymond Fisman, 2001. "Estimating the Value of Political Connections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 1095-1102, September.
  9. Asim Ijaz Khwaja & Atif Mian, 2005. "Do Lenders Favor Politically Connected Firms? Rent Provision in an Emerging Financial Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(4), pages 1371-1411, November.
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