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Natural Disasters and Clientelism: the Case of Floods and Landslides in Colombia*

Jorge Gallego ()

Documentos de Trabajo from Universidad del Rosario

Abstract: Abstract What are the e ects of natural disasters on electoral results? Some authors claim that catastrophes have a negative e ect on the survival of leaders in a democracy because voters have a propensity to punish politicians for not preventing or poorly handling a crisis. In contrast, this paper nds that these events might be bene cial for leaders. Disasters are linked to leader survival through clientelism: they generate an in- ow of resources in the form of aid, which increase money for buying votes. Analyzing the rainy season of 2010-2011 in Colombia, considered its worst disaster in history, I use a di erence-in-di erences strategy to show that in the local election incumbent parties bene ted from the disaster. The result is robust to di erent speci cations and alternative explanations. Moreover, places receiving more aid and those with judicial evidence of vote-buying irregularities, are more likely to reelect the incumbent, supporting the mechanism proposed by this paper.

Keywords: Clientelism; Natural Disasters; Difference in differences (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H41 H84 Z18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-pol
Date: 2015-02-11
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