Voters’ responsiveness to public employment policies
This paper examines whether the distribution of public employment affects the electoral support for the incumbent government that allocates jobs. To do this we focus on the Spanish Plan for Rural Employment (PER), a program of temporary public employment introduced by the central government in two lagging regions. We evaluate voters’ responsiveness to this policy using municipal-level electoral data and employing an estimator that combines propensity score matching with a difference-indifferences strategy (Heckman et al., Econometrica 65 (1998) 2). We show that the average treatment effect on the treated is a 2 percentage-point increase of the vote share for the ruling party at general elections and we also find evidence of an increase in electoral participation.
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