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Can Political Alignment be Costly?

Feb 2018
Working Paper
Michael Callen, Saad Gulzar, Arman Rezaee
Research on the benets of political alignment suggests that voters who elect governing party politicians are better o than those who elect other politicians. We examine this claim with regression discontinuity designs that isolate the effect of electing a governing party politician on an important publicly provided service in Pakistan: health. Consistent with existing research, governing party constituents receive a higher quantity of services: more doctors are assigned to work in governing party areas. However, despite many more assigned doctors, there is no increase in doctor attendance. These ndings contrast with the literature on political alignment by showing that alignment to the governing party aects voters' welfare ambiguously: higher potential quantity of services may come at the cost of lower quality.
Geographic Regions: 
Middle East