Development that Works
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    This blog highlights effective ideas in the fight against poverty and exclusion, and analyzes the impact of development projects in Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • Cement is good (for politicians too)



    the impact of street pavement on electoral support

    Almost a year ago, we published a blog on the results of an innovative experiment that estimated the impact of paving streets in Mexico on property and land values, credit or use of durable goods.  Cement was good.

    Now the authors (Marco Gonzalez-Navarro and Climent Quintana-Domeque) are circulating a working paper on the impact of street pavement on electoral support.

    We use an experimental design to quantify the effects of locally-provided urban infrastructure on satisfaction at all levels of government.

    We find significant increases across the board, but the changes are twice as large for the implementing (local) politician.

    The spillover effects on higher levels of government are not party-specific; they reflect generalized increases in government satisfaction.

    We estimate a return for the implementing politician in terms of vote share of 7 percentage points (20% increase in share) if an unpaved electoral section gets fully paved under the politician’s watch.

    Cement is good for politicians, too.

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