Salience and Accountability: School Infrastructure and Last-minute Electoral Punishment

Nicolas Ajzenman (Sao Paulo School of Economics-FGV)
Ruben Durante (ICREA, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona GSE, IP)

Abstract : Can seemingly unimportant factors influence voting decisions by making certain issues salient? We study this question in the context of Argentina 2015 presidential elections by examining how the quality of the infrastructure of the school where citizens were assigned to vote influenced their voting choice. Exploiting the quasi-random assignment of voters to ballot stations located in different public schools in the city of Buenos Aires, we nd that individuals assigned to schools with poorer infrastructure were significantly less likely to vote for Mauricio Macri, the incumbent mayor then running for president. The effect is larger in low-income areas - where fewer people can afford private substitutes to public education - and in places where more households have children in school age. The effect is unlikely to be driven by information scarcity since information on public school infrastructure was readily available to parents before elections. Rather, direct exposure to poor school infrastructure at the time of voting is likely to make public education - and the poor performance of the incumbent - more salient.

Political Instability and Economic Growth in Sub-sahara Africa

Felix S. Bethke (Peace Research Institute Frankfurt)
Magdalene Silberberger (Witten/Herdecke University)

Abstract : This paper analyzes the relationship between political instability and economic growth in Sub-Sahara Africa. Political instability is assumed to impede economic growth , because it induces some amount of uncertainty about future economic policies and resource allocation of public and private goods, which in turn disrupts market activities, productivity and domestic and foreign investment decisions. However, previous research has relied on rather crude indicators of political instability such as coup events or change of the head of state, which are measured at country-year level. Therefore, previous findings likely suffer from problems of endogeneity and reverse causality. To address this problem, we utilize new fine-grained data on political instability, which captures monthly cabinet changes for a sample of 40 Sub-Saharan African countries for the time period 1960 – 2019. Results from fixed-effects regression models indicate a substantial negative effect of cabinet changes on short- and long-term growth rates. To account for problems of endogeneity, we use the natural death of African ministers as exogenous variation encouraging cabinet changes. Results from two-stage least squares regressions confirm the negative effect of cabinet changes on economic growth.

Hybrid Regulatory Regime in Turbulent Times: the Role of State in China’s Stock Market Crisis in 2015-2016

Chen Li (The Chinese University of Hong Kong)
Huanhuan Zheng (National University of Singapore)
Yunbo Liu (Beijing Normal University)

Abstract : The hybridization of socialist state control with increasingly complex financial markets has generated unusual features in China’s financial regulatory regime. Using the 2015-2016 stock market crisis as a case study, this article draws on the Legal Theory of Finance (LTF) to analyse the state-market interface and crisis governance in China’s stock market. It illustrates the shift of China’s stock market governance away from traditional administrative hierarchies to more plural and hybrid forms of ownership, control and regulatory governance. By examining the policy process, market dynamics and crisis management in the evolution of China’s 2015-2016 stock market crashes, it identifies the endogenous dilemmas of regulatory elasticity and campaign-style enforcement in China’s hybrid regulatory regime, which have amplified policy noises and led to a destabilizing feedback loop between policy-induced market turbulence and market-induced organizational turbulence inside the regulatory bureaucracy.