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Research Topics

Government & Democracy


Vote Buying or Campaign Promises? Electoral Strategies When Party Credibility Is Limited
Hanusch, Marek; Keefer, Philip; Razvan, Vlaicu
Working Papers - English - Jul, 2016

What explains significant variation across countries in the use of vote buying instead of campaign promises to secure voter support? This paper explicitly models the tradeoff parties face between engaging in vote buying and making campaign promises, and explores the distributional consequences of this decision, in a setting where party credibility can vary. When parties are less credible they spend more on vote buying and target vote buying more heavily toward groups that do not believe campaign promises. When political credibility is sufficiently low, some voter groups are targeted only with vote buying and not with promises of post-electoral transfers. Stronger electoral competition reduces rent seeking but increases vote buying. Incumbents may have an advantage in undertaking vote buying; the paper finds that in a dynamic setting the prospect of a future incumbency advantage increases current vote buying.

Related JEL Codes:
D72 - Models of Political Processes: Rent-Seeking, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
H20 - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue: General
H50 - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies: General
O10 - Economic Development: General


Two to Tango: Public-Private Collaboration for Productive Development Policies
Trejos, Alberto; Sabel, Charles; Fernández-Arias, Eduardo; Stein, Ernesto H.
Books - English - Jun, 2016

It takes two to tango: Strong public-private collaboration is key for discovering and implementing effective productive development policies to bring out the best in existing economic activities and to foster economic transformation. The 25 Latin American cases analyzed in this volume show how and why many public and private partners are dancing smoothly while others stumble or follow different drummers. This book is a resource for designing institutions to make public-private interaction a win-win strategy.

Related JEL Codes:
L52 - Industrial Policy; Sectoral Planning Methods
L6 - Industry Studies: Manufacturing
L7 - Industry Studies: Primary Products and Construction
O25 - Industrial Policy


Water and Sanitation Sector: A Colombian Overview
Machado, Fabiana; Vesga, Giselle
Technical Notes - English - Apr, 2016

This report presents descriptive statistics from Colombian water and sanitation data, and corresponding public opinion data. The water and sanitation data are at the firm and municipality level and produced by several Colombian government agencies. The public opinion data are provided by the Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP).

Related JEL Codes:
H41 - Public Goods
H76 - State and Local Government: Other Expenditure Categories


Brazilian Electoral Panel Study (BEPS) 2014
Huberts, Alyssa; Smith, Amy; Ames, Barry; Zucco, Cesar; Samuels, David; Machado, Fabiana; Renno, Lucio
Databases - English - Mar, 2016

The objective of the BEPS project has been to collect original public opinion data in the largest democracy in Latin America to capture the dynamic game between voters and politicians during elections. Following up on the 2010 Brazilian Electoral Panel Study, and taking advantage of the Brazilian 2014 presidential elections, we conducted a public opinion panel study comprising seven waves extending from May to November 2014. Questionnaires replicated items in the different waves capturing movements in vote intention, government evaluation, policy preferences, and partisanship, among others. The initial sample is representative of the Brazilian population, covering 22 of the 27 states and 118 municipalities in all regions of the country, proportional to population size up to the municipal level. Interviews in this first wave were conducted face-to-face, computer assisted, and were collected prior to the official beginning of the campaign, so as to capture baseline measures of vote intentions and all other variables, free from contamination of campaign events. Subsequent waves were conducted through computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) based on subsamples drawn randomly from the first wave. The scheduling of the waves followed the occurrence of campaign events, taking into consideration, in particular, the dates of presidential debates.

Related JEL Codes:
D72 - Models of Political Processes: Rent-Seeking, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior


Brazilian Electoral Panel Study: 2014 Results
Huberts, Alyssa; Smith, Amy; Ames, Barry; Zucco, Cesar; Samuels, David; Machado, Fabiana; Renno, Lucio
Technical Notes - English - Feb, 2016

This report provides a summary introduction to some of the questions examined in the Brazilian Electoral Panel Study (BEPS) 2014 dataset. Following up on the 2010 Brazilian Electoral Panel Study, and taking advantage of the Brazilian 2014 presidential elections, a public opinion panel study was undertaken, comprising seven waves extending from May to November 2014. This document has two goals. The first is to familiarize those interested in using the data for their own analyses with the survey’s technical approach and the dataset’s subject matter. The second is to provide a preliminary dissemination of the survey’s findings. These results are organized thematically around the topics covered in the questionnaire, consisting mostly of summary statistics, and the codebook provides further information on the design for the questionnaires and sample. The questionnaire also includes six controlled experiments.

Related JEL Codes:
D72 - Models of Political Processes: Rent-Seeking, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior


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