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Family Networks and Distributive Politics

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  • Fafchamps, Marcel

Abstract

We argue that incumbents share rents with central players to build and sustain coalitions. Using an unusually rich dataset, we show that households with high betweenness centrality - a measure of brokerage potential - receive more public services from their local government. This result is robust to the inclusion of controls for program eligibility, family ties with politicians, and other measures of centrality - which are not significant once betweenness is included. We provide further corroboration from indirect evidence from variation in size and electoral competition across municipalities. Finally, we show that in municipalities where politicians provide more goods and services to their relatives they target fewer goods to households with high betweenness centrality. The evidence supports the hypothesis that incumbent municipal politicians offer favorable access to public services to households most able to play a brokerage role in the formation of coalitions of families for electoral support.

Suggested Citation

  • Fafchamps, Marcel, 2016. "Family Networks and Distributive Politics," CEPR Discussion Papers 11245, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:11245
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Marcel Fafchamps & Julien Labonne, 2016. "Using Split Samples to Improve Inference about Causal Effects," NBER Working Papers 21842, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Angelucci, Manuela & De Giorgi, Giacomo & Rangel, Marcos A. & Rasul, Imran, 2010. "Family networks and school enrolment: Evidence from a randomized social experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(3-4), pages 197-221, April.
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    4. repec:aea:apandp:v:109:y:2019:p:334-39 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Bardhan, Pranab & Mookherjee, Dilip, 2006. "Pro-poor targeting and accountability of local governments in West Bengal," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 303-327, April.
    6. repec:cup:apsrev:v:102:y:2008:i:01:p:19-31_08 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Vivi Alatas & Abhijit Banerjee & Rema Hanna & Benjamin A. Olken & Ririn Purnamasari & Matthew Wai-Poi, 2016. "Self-Targeting: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Indonesia," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 124(2), pages 371-427.
    8. Avinash Dixit & John Londregan, 1998. "Ideology, Tactics, and Efficiency in Redistributive Politics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(2), pages 497-529.
    9. Alberto Alesina & Paola Giuliano, 2011. "Family Ties And Political Participation," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(5), pages 817-839, October.
    10. Galasso, Emanuela & Ravallion, Martin, 2005. "Decentralized targeting of an antipoverty program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(4), pages 705-727, April.
    11. Timothy Besley & Rohini Pande & Lupin Rahman & Vijayendra Rao, 2004. "The Politics of Public Good Provision: Evidence from Indian Local Governments," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(2-3), pages 416-426, 04/05.
    12. Vivi Alatas & Abhijit Banerjee & Rema Hanna & Benjamin A. Olken & Ririn Purnamasari & Matthew Wai-Poi, 2019. "Does Elite Capture Matter? Local Elites and Targeted Welfare Programs in Indonesia," AEA Papers and Proceedings, American Economic Association, vol. 109, pages 334-339, May.
    13. Bardhan, Pranab & Mookherjee, Dilip, 2005. "Decentralizing antipoverty program delivery in developing countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(4), pages 675-704, April.
    14. Joseph J. Capuno, 2012. "The PIPER forum on 20 years of fiscal decentralization: a synthesis," Philippine Review of Economics, University of the Philippines School of Economics and Philippine Economic Society, vol. 49(1), pages 191-202, June.
    15. Fafchamps, Marcel & Labonne, Julien, 2017. "Using Split Samples to Improve Inference on Causal Effects," Political Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 25(04), pages 465-482, October.
    16. repec:hrv:faseco:30752839 is not listed on IDEAS
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