Worth a Shot? The Political Economy of Government Responsiveness in Times of Crisis
55 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2022 Last revised: 11 Jan 2023
Date Written: January 10, 2023
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: Suggested Citation