Cronyism in State Violence: Evidence from Labor Repression During Argentina’s Last Dictatorship

63 Pages Posted: 15 Oct 2016 Last revised: 18 Sep 2017

See all articles by Esteban F. Klor

Esteban F. Klor

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Sebastian M. Saiegh

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Department of Political Science

Shanker Satyanath

New York University (NYU) - Wilf Family Department of Politics

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Date Written: September 13, 2017

Abstract

We study whether crony governance can extend beyond economic policy to the targeting of state violence against citizens. We do so with a micro-analysis of state repression by the Argentine military junta that took power in March 24, 1976. Specifically, we examine the logic driving the choice of firm level union representatives who were subjected to violence following the coup. Using an original dataset assembled and digitized by us, we find that political, business and social connections to the regime are associated with a doubling of violence against firm level union representatives. This is the case even after controlling for a battery of firms’ characteristics that capture alternative explanations for the targeting of violence. The effect is pronounced in privately owned (as opposed to state-owned) firms, suggesting that the correlation is driven by cronyism for financial gain rather than ideology or information transmission. We show that connected firms benefited from violence against union representatives by subsequently having less strikes and a higher market valuation. Our findings highlight the pervasiveness of ties to the government, even in cases where one of the main stated goals of the regime is to curb cronyism.

Keywords: Political Connections, Labor Repression, Human Rights Violations, Argentina

JEL Classification: D73, D74, J52, N46

Suggested Citation

Klor, Esteban F. and Saiegh, Sebastian M. and Satyanath, Shanker, Cronyism in State Violence: Evidence from Labor Repression During Argentina’s Last Dictatorship (September 13, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2851822 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2851822

Esteban F. Klor (Contact Author)

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Department of Economics ( email )

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Israel
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HOME PAGE: http://economics.huji.ac.il/facultye/klor/klor.htm

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

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United Kingdom

Sebastian M. Saiegh

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Department of Political Science ( email )

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La Jolla, CA 92093-0521
United States

Shanker Satyanath

New York University (NYU) - Wilf Family Department of Politics ( email )

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New York, NY 10003
United States

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