Land and Power: Theory and Evidence from Chile
We study the connection between employment and political control. Many employment relationships concede rents to workers. For example, when worker effort is crucial for production, but only imperfectly observed. We show that, depending on the political institutions, the presence of such rents allows employers to use the threat of withdrawing them to control their workers' political behavior. We thus demonstrate that employment does not simply generate income, it also gives power to control the behavior of others. The analysis focuses on the salient example of political control, where landlords coerce the votes of their workers in the absence of a secret ballot. The model we develop generates predictions about electoral outcomes which can be tested by investigating the impact of the introduction of an effective secret ballot. Such an institutional reform reduces landlords' control, and in consequence, we should observe changes in voting behavior, since workers whose votes were previously controlled and sold can now vote freely. We test the predictions of the model by examining in detail the effects of the introduction of the secret ballot in Chile in 1958. We show that, consistent with our theory, the political reforms led to large changes in voting behavior. Before the reforms, localities with more pervasive patron-client relationships tend to exhibit a much stronger support for the right-wing parties, traditionally associated with the landed oligarchy. After the reform however, this difference across localities completely disappeared.
|Date of creation:||Sep 2006|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as Jean-Marie Baland & James A. Robinson, 2008. "Land and Power: Theory and Evidence from Chile," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1737-65, December.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 1997.
"Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy,"
NBER Working Papers
6329, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Persson, T. & Tabellini, G., 1997. "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," Papers 630, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
- Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, . "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," Working Papers 121, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
- Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1997. "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 1759, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Persson, Torsten & Tabellini , Guido, 1997. "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," Seminar Papers 630, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
- Eddie Dekel & Matthew O. Jackson & Asher Wolinsky, 2004.
1386, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Legros, Patrick & Newman, Andrew F., 1996.
"Wealth Effects, Distribution, and the Theory of Organization,"
Journal of Economic Theory,
Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 312-341, August.
- Patrick Legros & Andrew Newman, 1996. "Wealth effects, distribution, and the theory of organization," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/7036, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
- Acemoglu,Daron & Robinson,James A., 2009.
"Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy,"
Cambridge University Press, number 9780521671422, October.
- Abhijit V. Banerjee & Andrew F. Newman, 1990.
"Occupational Choice and the Process of Development,"
911, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Banerjee, Abhijit V & Newman, Andrew F, 1993. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 274-98, April.
- David P. Baron & Daniel Diermeier, 2001. "Elections, Governments, And Parliaments In Proportional Representation Systems," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(3), pages 933-967, August.
- Piketty, Thomas, 2000. "Voting as Communicating," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(1), pages 169-91, January.
- Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2005. "The Economic Effects of Constitutions," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262661926, June.
- James M. Snyder, 1991. "On Buying Legislatures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(2), pages 93-109, 07.
- Sadoulet, Elisabeth, 1992. "Labor-Service Tenancy Contracts in a Latin American Context," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 1031-42, September.
- Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1996.
"Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics,"
Review of Economic Studies,
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(2), pages 265-86, April.
- Gene Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1994. "Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics," NBER Working Papers 4877, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Piketty, Thomas, 1999. "The information-aggregation approach to political institutions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 791-800, April.
- Dilip Mookherjee, 1995. "Informational Rents and Property Rights in Land," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 55, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:
- Land and Power: Theory and Evidence from Chile (AER 2008) in ReplicationWiki
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12517. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.