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Do anti-poverty programs sway voters? Experimental evidence from Uganda

Blattman, Christopher, Emeriau, Mathilde ORCID: 0000-0002-9091-1160 and Fiala, Nathan (2018) Do anti-poverty programs sway voters? Experimental evidence from Uganda. Review of Economics and Statistics, 100 (5). 891 - 905. ISSN 0034-6535

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Identification Number: 10.1162/rest_a_00737


High-impact policies may not lead to support for the political party that introduces them. In 2008, Uganda's government encouraged groups of youth to submit proposals to start enterprises. Of 535 eligible groups, a random 265 received grants of nearly $400 per person. Prior work showed that after four years, the Youth Opportunities Program raised employment by 17% and earnings by 38%. Here we show that recipients were no more likely to support the ruling party in elections. Rather, recipients slightly increased campaigning and voting for the opposition. Potential mechanisms include program misattribution, group socialization, and financial independence freeing voters from transactional voting.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2018 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Divisions: Government
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
Date Deposited: 18 Sep 2019 15:30
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 00:58

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