NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Gustavo Bobonis

Department of Economics
University of Toronto
150 St. George St., Room 304
Toronto, Ontario
M5S 3G7, Canada

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliations: University of Toronto and Centre for a New Economy

NBER Working Papers and Publications

July 2017Vulnerability and Clientelism
with Paul Gertler, Marco Gonzalez-Navarro, Simeon Nichter: w23589
This study argues that economic vulnerability causes citizens to participate in clientelism, a phenomenon with various pernicious consequences. We employ a randomized control trial that reduced household vulnerability through a development intervention: constructing residential water cisterns in drought-prone areas of Brazil. This intervention significantly decreased requests for private goods from politicians, especially among citizens likely to be in clientelist relationships. We also link program beneficiaries to electronic voting machines, and show the intervention decreased votes for incumbent mayors, who typically have more resources for clientelism. Findings are observed not only during the election campaign, but also a full year later.
December 2016Bombs and Babies: US Navy Bombing Activity and Infant Health in Vieques, Puerto Rico
with Mark Stabile, Leonardo Tovar: w22909
We study the relationship between in utero exposure to military exercises and children’s early-life health outcomes in a no-war zone. This allows us to document non-economic impacts of military activity on neonatal health outcomes. We combine monthly data on tonnage of ordnance in the context of naval exercises in Vieques, Puerto Rico, with the universe of births in Puerto Rico between 1990 and 2000; studying this setting is useful because these exercises have no negative consequences for local economic activity. We find that a one standard deviation increase in exposure to bombing activity leads to a three per thousand point (70 percent) increase in extremely premature births; a three to seven per thousand point – 34 to 77 percent – increase in the incidence of congenital anomalies; and a...
 
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