Title

Vote Suppression and Insecure Property Rights

Abstract

While it is commonly understood that land is a political tool, there is surprisingly little empirical research on how insecure property rights affect political outcomes. In this paper, we show how a dominant political party can use insecure property rights to ensure politically compliant voter behavior and how this power is frustrated after the introduction of a land certification program. We test this hypothesis on data covering 10,000 Mexican municipal elections during the country's democratic,transition. Exploiting the gradual rollout of a large-scale land certification program, we find that land titles significantly raised the number of votes for the main opposition parties. Importantly, this effect disappears once the dominant party, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), has already lost at least one election in the municipality. These results provide an additional explanation of the PRI's downfall and, more generally, illuminate the relationship between political power, institutions and resource allocation. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Publisher

Elsevier

Publication Date

5-1-2015

Publication Title

Journal of Development Economics

Department

Economics

Document Type

Article

DOI

10.1016/j.jdeveco.2014.11.003

Keywords

Property rights, Clientism, Land reform, Mexico, Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), Ejido

Language

English

Format

text

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