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 Review of Economics and Statistics (2021) 193 (5), 803-817 .
GLO Fellow Laura Zimmermann
Some related papers of the author:
- Why Guarantee Employment? Evidence from a Large Indian Public-Works Program – Download PDF GLO Discussion Paper No. 504, 2020. Forthcoming: Economic Development and Cultural Change.
- Guns and Butter? Fighting Violence with the Promise of Development, Journal of Development Economics, 124: 120-141, 2017 (with Gaurav Khanna) (Online Appendix)
- Fighting Maoist Violence with Promises: Evidence from India’s Employment Guarantee Scheme, Economics of Peace and Security Journal, 9(1): 30-36, 2014 (with Gaurav Khanna) (PDF Version)
- Public-Works Programs in Developing Countries Have the Potential to Reduce Poverty, IZA World of Labor, May 2014
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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