Central Data Catalog

Citation Information

Type Working Paper
Title Identity, Patronage, and Redistribution: The Economic Impact of Evo Morales
Author(s)
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
URL http://faculty-staff.ou.edu/H/Daniel.Hicks-1/MORALES_2015-05-24.pdf
Abstract
This paper investigates the extent to which the election of Evo Morales and the MAS party
led to a redistribution of economic resources in favor of indigenous populations in Bolivia.
We employ household surveys over the period 2000-2013 and a differences-in-differences
approach to examine changes in the income distribution. Although the study period has
been one of rapid economic expansion for Bolivia, we show that indigenous groups exhibit
significantly above average income growth in the post-election period, closing roughly onequarter
of the income gap with non-indigenous households. These benefits appear to accrue
for most of the indigenous population and we find no robust evidence of a differential
impact on any one particular indigenous group. We corroborate these findings with
estimates of economic activity from satellite measures of night-time lighting paired with
census maps of ethnic composition. Finally, we explore the mechanisms through which
these distributional changes may have been facilitated, focusing on the allocation of
municipal government budgets and on the role of social transfers.

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