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Natural Disasters and Clientelism: the Case of Floods and Landslides in Colombia

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  • Jorge Gallego

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Abstract

What are the e ects of natural disasters on electoral results? Some authors claim that catastrophes have a negative e ect on the survival of leaders in a democracy because voters have a propensity to punish politicians for not preventing or poorly handling a crisis. In contrast, this paper nds that these events might be bene cial for leaders. Disasters are linked to leader survival through clientelism: they generate an in- ow of resources in the form of aid, which increase money for buying votes. Analyzing the rainy season of 2010-2011 in Colombia, considered its worst disaster in history, I use a di erence-in-di erences strategy to show that in the local election incumbent parties bene ted from the disaster. The result is robust to di erent speci cations and alternative explanations. Moreover, places receiving more aid and those with judicial evidence of vote-buying irregularities, are more likely to reelect the incumbent, supporting the mechanism proposed by this paper.

Suggested Citation

  • Jorge Gallego, 2015. "Natural Disasters and Clientelism: the Case of Floods and Landslides in Colombia," Documentos de Trabajo 012537, Universidad del Rosario.
  • Handle: RePEc:col:000092:012537
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    File URL: http://repository.urosario.edu.co/bitstream/handle/10336/10819/12537.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Gallego, Jorge & Prem, Mounu & Vargas, Juan F., 2020. "Corruption in the Times of Pandemia," Working papers 43, Red Investigadores de Economía.
    2. Matthias Flückiger & Markus Ludwig & Ali Sina Önder, 2019. "Ebola and State Legitimacy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 129(621), pages 2064-2089.
    3. Jeroen Klomp, 2020. "Election or Disaster Support?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 56(1), pages 205-220, January.
    4. Gabriel Angarita Tovar, 2017. "Choques de precios y elecciones: el café y la democracia en Colombia," Documentos CEDE 015608, Universidad de los Andes - CEDE.
    5. Ahlerup, Pelle, 2013. "Natural Disasters and Government Turnover," Working Papers in Economics 554, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Clientelism; Natural Disasters; Difference in differences;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • H84 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - Disaster Aid
    • Z18 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Public Policy

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