Contending Theories of Public Goods Provision: Evidence from Peru
University of Colorado at Boulder
APSA 2011 Annual Meeting Paper
By ignoring the possibility that many ostensibly “public” goods such as education and public health services can be provided excludably - that is, as club/toll or private goods - comparative scholarship has underestimated the importance of clientelism and particularism as a source of government services. Here, I argue that much government service provision in Peru is a result of the particularistic exchange of political support (by voters) for tangible government services (by elected politicians). Peruvian local governments, because of an unusual institutional structure, is a critical case for the study of particularism. Therefore, I test a newly developed theory of particularism and government service provision against existing theory of public goods provision using quantitative data from approximately 1600 Peruvian municipal governments and qualitative observations from about one year in the field. I find that particularism explains substantial variation unexplained by existing theory.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 41
Keywords: clientelism, public goods, club goods, Peruworking papers series
Date posted: August 1, 2011 ; Last revised: August 27, 2011
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