Nov 3, 2011

Does paving roads have a political return?

This paper found that it does:
[I]ncumbent vote share would be, on average, 7 percentage points higher in a section that went from zero streets paved to fully paved by the politician. The politicians’ vote share would increase from 0.34 to 0.41 as a result of this policy.
This study was conducted in Acayucan, a metropolitan area in Veracruz, Mexico. 
These two pics from the paper are illustrative of the change:
As a side: the road infrastructure in the surrounding towns of Guatemala City is deteriorating rapidly. The effect however is not the same all over. There are some municipalities that are much more efficient than others at maintaining the roads quality. There is one case that shines particularly. It is the municipality called Santa Catarina Pinula. [Some pics here]. In SCP the roads are perfect, and the schools are new and clean. From what I can see on the streets this is a case of a successful local government. The major won the elections again! [May be he read the paper!].

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