DP3800 | Land and Power

Publication Date

23/02/2003

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Abstract

We study the implications of electoral corruption for resource allocation, factor market equilibrium and inequality. We focus on the control of the voting of agricultural workers by landlords and show that if the employment relationship is subject to moral hazard then the resulting rents conceded by employers give them a comparative advantage in controlling the political activities of their workers. This generates an added incentive to own land and leads to inefficiently high land concentration. We test the predictions of the model by examining in detail the effects of the introduction of the secret ballot in Chile in 1958.