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Voter response to natural disaster aid : quasi-experimental evidence from drought relief payments in Mexico

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  • Fuchs, Alan
  • Rodriguez-Chamussy, Lourdes

Abstract

The paper estimates the effects on presidential election returns in Mexico of a government climatic contingency transfer that is allocated through rainfall-indexed insurance. The analysis uses the discontinuity in payments that slightly deviate from a pre-established threshold, based on rainfall accumulation measured at local weather stations. It turns out that voters reward the incumbent presidential party for delivering drought relief compensation. The paper finds that receiving indemnity payments leads to significantly greater average electoral support for the incumbent party of approximately 7.6 percentage points. The analysis suggests that the incumbent party is rewarded by disaster aid recipients and punished by non-recipients. The paper contributes to the literature on retrospective voting by providing evidence that voters evaluate government actions and respond to disaster spending.

Suggested Citation

  • Fuchs, Alan & Rodriguez-Chamussy, Lourdes, 2014. "Voter response to natural disaster aid : quasi-experimental evidence from drought relief payments in Mexico," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6836, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6836
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Healy, Andrew & Malhotra, Neil, 2009. "Myopic Voters and Natural Disaster Policy," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 103(3), pages 387-406, August.
    2. Russell Sobel & Peter Leeson, 2006. "Government's response to Hurricane Katrina: A public choice analysis," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 127(1), pages 55-73, April.
    3. Cole, Shawn & Healy, Andrew & Werker, Eric, 2012. "Do voters demand responsive governments? Evidence from Indian disaster relief," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 167-181.
    4. Stephan Litschig & Kevin Morrison, 2010. "Government spending and re-election: Quasi-experimental evidence from Brazilian municipalities," Economics Working Papers 1233, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jun 2012.
    5. Healy, Andrew & Malhotra, Neil, 2010. "Random Events, Economic Losses, and Retrospective Voting: Implications for Democratic Competence," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 5(2), pages 193-208, August.
    6. Marco Manacorda & Edward Miguel & Andrea Vigorito, 2011. "Government Transfers and Political Support," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 1-28, July.
    7. Lourdes Rodríguez Chamussy, 2015. "Local Electoral Rewards from Centralized Social Programs: Are Mayors Getting the Credit?," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 88073, Inter-American Development Bank.
    8. Alan Fuchs & Hendrik Wolff, 2011. "Concept and Unintended Consequences of Weather Index Insurance: The Case of Mexico," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 93(2), pages 505-511.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Albuquerque Sant'Anna, André, 2018. "Not So Natural: Unequal Effects of Public Policies on the Occurrence of Disasters," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 152(C), pages 273-281.
    2. Jeroen Klomp, 2020. "Election or Disaster Support?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 56(1), pages 205-220, January.
    3. Cavalcanti, Francisco, 2018. "Voters sometimes provide the wrong incentives. The lesson of the Brazilian drought industry," MPRA Paper 88317, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Karim, Azreen & Noy, Ilan, 2015. "The (mis) allocation of public spending in a low income country: Evidence from disaster risk reduction spending in Bangladesh," Working Paper Series 4194, Victoria University of Wellington, School of Economics and Finance.
    5. Thomas Husted & David Nickerson, 2021. "Private Support for Public Disaster Aid," Journal of Risk and Financial Management, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 14(6), pages 1-19, June.
    6. Karim, Azreen & Noy, Ilan, 2020. "Risk, poverty or politics? The determinants of subnational public spending allocation for adaptive disaster risk reduction in Bangladesh," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 129(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Hazard Risk Management; Global Environment Facility; Natural Disasters; Technology Industry; Rural Poverty Reduction;
    All these keywords.

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