Testing the Dynamic Electoral Returns of a Large Anti-Poverty Program. A new GLO Discussion Paper.

Governments around the world employ short-term re-election strategies. A new GLO Discussion Paper tests whether longer program exposure has a causal effect on election outcomes in the context of a large anti-poverty program in India. It finds that length of program exposure lowers electoral support for the government.

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GLO Discussion Paper No. 506, 2020

The Dynamic Electoral Returns of a Large Anti-Poverty Program – Download PDF
by
Zimmermann, Laura

The paper is forthcoming in The Review of Economics and Statistics.

GLO Fellow Laura Zimmermann

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Author Abstract: Short-term re-election strategies are widely used by governments around the world. This is problematic if governments can maximize their re-election chances by prioritizing short-term spending before an election over long-term reforms. This paper tests whether longer program exposure has a causal effect on election outcomes in the context of a large anti-poverty program in India. Using a regression-discontinuity framework, the results show that length of program exposure lowers electoral support for the government. The paper discusses a couple of potential explanations, finding that the most plausible mechanism is that voters hold the government accountable for the program’s implementation quality.

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GLO Discussion Papers are research and policy papers of the GLO Network which are widely circulated to encourage discussion. Provided in cooperation with EconStor, a service of the ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, GLO Discussion Papers are among others listed in RePEc (see IDEAS,  EconPapers)Complete list of all GLO DPs – downloadable for free.

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