American Economic Review: Vol. 98 No. 5 (December 2008)


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Land and Power: Theory and Evidence from Chile

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Baland, Jean-Marie, and James A. Robinson. 2008. "Land and Power: Theory and Evidence from Chile." American Economic Review, 98(5): 1737-65.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.98.5.1737


Many employment relationships concede rents to workers. Depending on the political institutions, the presence of such rents allows employers to use the threat of withdrawing them to control their workers' political behavior, such as their votes in the absence of secret ballot. We examine the effects of the introduction of the secret ballot in Chile in 1958 on voting behavior. Before the reforms, localities with more pervasive patron-client relationships tended to exhibit a much stronger support for the right-wing parties, traditionally associated with the landed oligarchy. After the reform, however, this difference across localities completely disappeared. (JEL D72, N46, O13, O15, O17)

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Baland, Jean-Marie (U Notre-Dame de la Paix)
Robinson, James A. (Harvard U)

JEL Classifications

D72: Models of Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
N46: Economic History: Government, War, Law, and Regulation: Latin America; Caribbean
O13: Economic Development: Agriculture; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Other Primary Products
O15: Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
O17: Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements

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