The Cyclical Electoral Effects of Programmatic Policies: Evidence From Education Reforms in Tanzania

55 Pages Posted: 20 Jul 2020 Last revised: 18 Aug 2020

See all articles by James Paul Habyarimana

James Paul Habyarimana

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Ken Ochieng' Opalo

Georgetown University; Brookings Institution; Center for Global Development

Youdi Schipper

Twaweza; Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development; VU University Amsterdam

Date Written: June 27, 2020

Abstract

A large literature documents the electoral benefits of clientelistic and programmatic policies in low-income states. We extend this literature by showing the cyclical electoral responses to a large programmatic intervention to expand access to secondary education in Tanzania over multiple electoral periods. Using a difference-in-difference approach, we find that the incumbent party's vote share increased by 2 percentage points in the election following the policy's announcement as a campaign promise (2005), but decreased by -1.4 percentage points in the election following implementation (2010). We find no discernible electoral impact of the policy in 2015, two electoral cycles later. We attribute the electoral penalty in 2010 to how the secondary school expansion policy was implemented. Our findings shed light on the temporally-contingent electoral impacts of programmatic policies, and highlight the need for more research on how policy implementation structures public opinion and vote choice in low-income states.

Keywords: Policy Feedback, Programmatic Policies, Electoral Accountability, Education, Tanzania

JEL Classification: H10, H20, H30, H40, H52, I20

Suggested Citation

Habyarimana, James Paul and Opalo, Ken Ochieng' and Schipper, Youdi, The Cyclical Electoral Effects of Programmatic Policies: Evidence From Education Reforms in Tanzania (June 27, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3636942 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3636942

James Paul Habyarimana

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Ken Ochieng' Opalo (Contact Author)

Georgetown University ( email )

Washington, DC 20057
United States

Brookings Institution ( email )

1775 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20036
United States

Center for Global Development ( email )

2055 L St. NW
5th floor
Washington, DC 20036
United States

Youdi Schipper

Twaweza ( email )

127 Mafinga Road
P.O. Box 38342
Dar es Salaam
Tanzania

Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development ( email )

AHTC, Tower C4, Paasheuvelweg 25
Amsterdam, 1105 BP
Netherlands

VU University Amsterdam ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
Amsterdam, 1081 HV
Netherlands

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