Worth a Shot? The Political Economy of Government Responsiveness in Times of Crisis

55 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2022 Last revised: 11 Jan 2023

See all articles by Emilio Gutierrez

Emilio Gutierrez

Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM)

Jaakko Meriläinen

ITAM, Centro de Investigación Económica

Antonio Ponce-de-Leon

Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM)

Date Written: January 10, 2023

Abstract

We study the political economy of government responsiveness in the context of COVID-19 vaccine allocation in Mexico. First, we present population-level evidence that the vaccines have positive effects on public health and voter welfare. This motivates the plausible electoral value of vaccine distribution. Our analysis then delves into the political drivers and consequences of the vaccination program. There is some indication that the allocation of vaccines was influenced by electoral incentives, although population size and age structure seem to be the most important predictors. We do not find any evidence that a higher vaccination coverage would have boosted electoral support for the incumbent party, on average, but it did increase electoral participation. Altogether, these findings speak to the political-economy literature on redistributive politics and have broader implications for drivers of government responsiveness in middle-income contexts.

Keywords: elections, government responsiveness, pandemics, retrospective voting, voting behavior

JEL Classification: D72, I18, P16

Suggested Citation

Gutierrez, Emilio and Meriläinen, Jaakko and Ponce-de-Leon, Antonio, Worth a Shot? The Political Economy of Government Responsiveness in Times of Crisis (January 10, 2023). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4212767 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4212767

Emilio Gutierrez

Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) ( email )

Av. Camino a Sta. Teresa 930
Col. Héroes de Padierna
Mexico City, CDMX 10700
Mexico

Jaakko Meriläinen (Contact Author)

ITAM, Centro de Investigación Económica ( email )

Camino a Santa Teresa No. 930
Col. Héroes de Padierna
Ciudad de México
Mexico

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/view/jaakkomerilainen/main

Antonio Ponce-de-Leon

Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) ( email )

Av. Camino a Sta. Teresa 930
Col. Héroes de Padierna
Mexico City, D.F. 01000, Federal District 01080
Mexico

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