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Radio's impact on preferences for patronage benefits

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  • Keefer, Philip
  • Khemani, Stuti

Abstract

Citizens in developing countries support politicians who provide patronage or clientelist benefits, such as government jobs and gifts at the time of elections. Can access to mass media that broadcasts public interest messages shift citizens'preferences for such benefits? This paper examines the impact of community radio on responses to novel survey vignettes that make an explicit trade-off between political promises of jobs for a few versus public services for all. The impact of community radio is identified through a natural experiment in the media market in northern Benin, which yields exogenous variation in access across villages. Respondents in villages with greater radio access are less likely to express support for patronage jobs that come at the expense of public health or education. Gift-giving is not necessarily traded off against public services; correspondingly, radio access does not reduce preferences for candidates who give gifts. The pattern of results is consistent with a particular mechanism for radio's impact: increasing citizens'demand for broadly delivered health and education and thereby shaping their preferences for clientelist candidates.

Suggested Citation

  • Keefer, Philip & Khemani, Stuti, 2014. "Radio's impact on preferences for patronage benefits," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6932, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6932
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Keefer, Philip & Khemani, Stuti, 2014. "Mass media and public education: The effects of access to community radio in Benin," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 57-72.
    4. Leonard Wantchekon, 2003. "Clientelism and voting behavior: Evidence from a field experiment in benin," Natural Field Experiments 00339, The Field Experiments Website.
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    6. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Rukmini Banerji & Esther Duflo & Rachel Glennerster & Stuti Khemani, 2010. "Pitfalls of Participatory Programs: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Education in India," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 1-30, February.
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    12. repec:cup:apsrev:v:107:y:2013:i:04:p:706-725_00 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Khemani, Stuti, 2015. "Buying votes versus supplying public services: Political incentives to under-invest in pro-poor policies," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 84-93.
    2. repec:wbk:wbpubs:28442 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Health Monitoring&Evaluation; Education For All; Population Policies; Housing&Human Habitats; E-Business;

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