Campaign externalities, programmatic spending and voting preferences in rural Mexico. The case of Progresa-Oportunidades-Prospera programme

Miguel Nino-Zarazua, UNU-WIDER

This study presents an analysis of the electoral impacts of one of the most prominent conditional cash transfers in the world: Mexico's Progresa-Oportunidades-Prospera (POP) programme. Based on census and administrative data, we exploit the targeting criteria of the programme as well as its gradual expansion to implement difference-indifferences estimators and a Regression Discontinuity design for three Presidential elections (2000, 2006 and 2012). Overall, we find no sizable effects of POP for the incumbent in the 2000 and 2012 Presidential elections, but instead, a significant negative effect for the incumbent in the very competitive Presidential election of 2006. We provide a theoretical  rationalisation for this surprising results that highlight the role of behaviour towards risk near a subsistence threshold and ex-ante expectations among the poor in control localities that are influenced by campaign externalities. We conclude with a discussion on the implications of our results for future theoretical and empirical research.

Venue: Room 1.23

Date: 28 February 2018

Time: 09:30 - 10:30