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Voters’ responsiveness to public employment policies

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  • Marta Curto-Grau

    () (University of Heidelberg)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Marta Curto-Grau, 2014. "Voters’ responsiveness to public employment policies," Working Papers 2014/19, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  • Handle: RePEc:ieb:wpaper:2013/6/doc2014-19
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Solé-Ollé, Albert & Sorribas-Navarro, Pilar, 2008. "The effects of partisan alignment on the allocation of intergovernmental transfers. Differences-in-differences estimates for Spain," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(12), pages 2302-2319, December.
    2. James J. Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Petra E. Todd, 1997. "Matching As An Econometric Evaluation Estimator: Evidence from Evaluating a Job Training Programme," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(4), pages 605-654.
    3. Brender, Adi, 2003. "The effect of fiscal performance on local government election results in Israel: 1989-1998," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(9-10), pages 2187-2205, September.
    4. Sam Peltzman, 1992. "Voters as Fiscal Conservatives," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 327-361.
    5. Arulampalam, Wiji & Dasgupta, Sugato & Dhillon, Amrita & Dutta, Bhaskar, 2009. "Electoral goals and center-state transfers: A theoretical model and empirical evidence from India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 103-119, January.
    6. Sergio Sakurai & Naercio Menezes-Filho, 2008. "Fiscal policy and reelection in Brazilian municipalities," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 137(1), pages 301-314, October.
    7. Drazen, Allan & Eslava, Marcela, 2010. "Electoral manipulation via voter-friendly spending: Theory and evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 39-52, May.
    8. Alberto Abadie, 2005. "Semiparametric Difference-in-Differences Estimators," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 1-19.
    9. repec:cup:apsrev:v:99:y:2005:i:03:p:315-325_05 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Levitt, Steven D & Snyder, James M, Jr, 1997. "The Impact of Federal Spending on House Election Outcomes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(1), pages 30-53, February.
    11. Gimpelson, Vladimir & Treisman, Daniel & Monusova, Galina, 2000. "Public Employment and Redistributive Politics: Evidence from Russia’s Regions," IZA Discussion Papers 161, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Public employment; electoral rewards; difference-in-differences; propensity score matching;

    JEL classification:

    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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