The Price of Political Opposition: Evidence from Venezuela's Maisanta

33 Pages Posted: 29 Apr 2009 Last revised: 5 May 2009

See all articles by Chang-Tai Hsieh

Chang-Tai Hsieh

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business; University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Edward Miguel

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Daniel Ortega

Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Administración (IESA)

Francisco R. Rodriguez

Wesleyan University - Department of Economics

Date Written: April 2009

Abstract

In 2004, the Chávez regime in Venezuela distributed the list of several million voters whom had attempted to remove him from office throughout the government bureaucracy, allegedly to identify and punish these voters. We match the list of petition signers distributed by the government to household survey respondents to measure the economic effects of being identified as a Chavez political opponent. We find that voters who were identified as Chavez opponents experienced a 5 percent drop in earnings and a 1.5 percentage point drop in employment rates after the voter list was released. A back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests that the loss aggregate TFP from the misallocation of workers across jobs was substantial, on the order of 3 percent of GDP.

Suggested Citation

Hsieh, Chang-Tai and Miguel, Edward and Ortega, Daniel and Rodriguez, Francisco R., The Price of Political Opposition: Evidence from Venezuela's Maisanta (April 2009). NBER Working Paper No. w14923. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1394830

Chang-Tai Hsieh

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics ( email )

549 Evans Hall #3880
Berkeley, CA 94720-3880
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Edward Miguel (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics ( email )

549 Evans Hall #3880
Berkeley, CA 94720-3880
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Daniel Ortega

Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Administración (IESA) ( email )

C/ Campo Santo de los Mártires, 7
San Bernardo 1010, Caracas, Córdoba 14004
Venezuela

Francisco R. Rodriguez

Wesleyan University - Department of Economics ( email )

238 Church Street
Middletown, CT 06459-0007
United States

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