NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Patrick McEwan

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Working Papers

September 2016Electoral reciprocity in programmatic redistribution: Experimental Evidence
with Sebastian Galiani, Nadya Hajj, Pablo Ibarraran, Nandita Krishnaswamy: w22588
We analyzed two conditional cash transfers experiments that preceded Honduran presidential elections in 2001 and 2013. In the first, smaller transfers had no effects on voter turnout or incumbent vote share. In the second, larger transfers increased turnout and incumbent share in similar magnitudes, consistent with the mobilization of the incumbent party base rather than vote switching. Moreover, we found that turnout and incumbent share increased when cumulative payments were similar, but larger payments were made closer to the elections. As in prior lab experiments, individuals seem to overweight “peak” and “end” payments in their retrospective estimation of net benefits. We further argue that a model of intrinsically-reciprocal voters is most consistent with the findings.
July 2016External and Internal Validity of a Geographic Quasi-Experiment Embedded in Cluster-Randomized Experiment
with Sebastian Galiani, Brian Quistorff: w22468
This paper analyzes a geographic quasi-experiment embedded in a cluster-randomized experiment in Honduras. In the experiment, average treatment effects on school enrollment and child labor were large—especially in the poorest blocks—and could be generalized to a policy-relevant population given the original sample selection criteria. In contrast, the geographic quasi-experiment yielded point estimates that, for two of three dependent variables, were attenuated. A judicious policy analyst without access to the experimental results might have provided misleading advice based on the magnitude of point estimates. We assessed two main explanations for the difference in point estimates, related to external and internal validity.

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