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Backing the incumbent in difficult times: the electoral impact of wildfires

Roberto Ramos () and Carlos Sanz ()
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Roberto Ramos: Banco de España
Carlos Sanz: Banco de España

No 1810, Working Papers from Banco de España, Working Papers Homepage

Abstract: How do voters react to large shocks that are (mostly) outside the control of politicians? We address this question by studying the electoral effects of wildfires in Spain during 1983-2011. Using a difference-in-difference strategy, we find that a large accidental fire up to nine months ahead of a local election increases the incumbent party’s vote share by almost 8 percentage points. We find that a rally-behind-the-leader effect best explains the results. A simple formalization of this mechanism yields an implication – that the effect should be larger for stronger (more voted) incumbents – that is supported by the data.

Keywords: voting behavior; rally behind the leader; difference-in-differences (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D72 D91 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm, nep-eur and nep-pol
Date: 2018-03
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https://www.bde.es/f/webbde/SES/Secciones/Publicac ... 18/Files/dt1810e.pdf First version, March 2018 (application/pdf)

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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:bde:wpaper:1810

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