NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Simeon Nichter

Political Science Department
University of California, San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: UCSD

NBER Working Papers and Publications

July 2017Vulnerability and Clientelism
with Gustavo J. Bobonis, Paul Gertler, Marco Gonzalez-Navarro: w23589
This study argues that economic vulnerability causes citizens to participate in clientelism, a phenomenon with various pernicious consequences. We employ a randomized control trial that reduced household vulnerability through a development intervention: constructing residential water cisterns in drought-prone areas of Brazil. This intervention significantly decreased requests for private goods from politicians, especially among citizens likely to be in clientelist relationships. We also link program beneficiaries to electronic voting machines, and show the intervention decreased votes for incumbent mayors, who typically have more resources for clientelism. Findings are observed not only during the election campaign, but also a full year later.
 
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