Monitoring Political Brokers: Evidence from Clientelistic Networks in Mexico

Posted: 2 May 2013

Date Written: 2012


This paper studies how a political party uses electoral data to monitor and incentivize the political brokers who control its clientelistic networks. We study networks organized around rural communal lands in Mexico, which are largely controlled by the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). We use the fact that the level at which brokers operate (the communal land) does not necessarily coincide with the level at which the electoral data is disclosed (the electoral section). Guided by a simple model, we compute a measure of how informative the available electoral data is about the performance of the PRI's political brokers, as a function of the degree of overlap between communal lands and electoral sections. We compare the vote share for the PRI in communal lands where the electoral data is more or less informative, both when the PRI does and does not have access to resources to fund and incentivize brokers. The results suggest that clientelistic networks contribute significantly to the enforcement of clientelistic transactions.

Suggested Citation

Larreguy, Horacio Alejandro, Monitoring Political Brokers: Evidence from Clientelistic Networks in Mexico (2012). EPSA 2013 Annual General Conference Paper 655, Available at SSRN:

Horacio Alejandro Larreguy (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) ( email )

77 Massachusetts Avenue
50 Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
United States

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