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Title page for ETD etd-02092018-122028


Type of Document Dissertation
Author Plata Caviedes, Juan Camilo
URN etd-02092018-122028
Title The Electoral Disconnection: Local Political Competition and Public Goods Provision in an Era of Fiscal Re-Centralization
Degree PhD
Department Political Science
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Jonathan Hiskey Committee Chair
Elizabeth Zechmeister Committee Member
Kent Eaton Committee Member
Mitchell Seligson Committee Member
Keywords
  • electoral competition
  • decentralization
  • local development
Date of Defense 2018-02-06
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
Is democracy good for local development? This dissertation argues that as the number of competitive candidates for local office increases, candidates need fewer votes to result elected. This tendency shapes how local officials choose between solving fewer problems for most of the population, or solving more problems for fewer people. Through a series of analyses of Colombian spending patterns at the municipal level, I confirm that the scope of spending choices is influenced by the nature of electoral competition. In particular, local officials elected in places with a more concentrated electoral support tend to favor the provision of education services, and request more funding from national authorities. In contrast, officials elected in a more fragmented electoral context prioritize building schools, target spending to more areas but with a more limited scope, and request less funding from national authorities. By identifying the possibilities and drawbacks of different electoral contexts, this dissertation advances our understanding of the political conditions that favor, and impede, local development.
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