Toronto / APSA 2009

This weekend I will be attending the American Political Science Association Annual Conference, in Toronto, 3-6 September 2009. These are the abstracts of the papers that we will deliver.

The Political Economy of Collective Remittances: The Mexican 3×1 Program for Migrants

Javier Aparicio and Covadonga Meseguer

 Abstract.  The 3×1 Program for Migrants (Programa 3×1 para migrantes) is a matching grant scheme that seeks to direct the money sent by migrant organizations abroad to the provision of public and social infrastructure, and to productive projects in migrants’ communities of origin. To do so, the municipal, state, and federal governments match the amount sent by hometown associations at a 3 to 1 rate. We explore the types of projects awarded to assess whether the program is subject to political manipulation. Following the literature on redistributive politics, we posit that an increase in competition in municipal races may lead to more private (or clientelistic) projects awarded, relative to public infrastructure ones. Using data on the 3×1 Program for Migrants for over 2,400 municipalities in the 2002 to 2007 period, we find that municipalities with a higher effective number of political parties are associated with a lower provision of public goods funded by the 3×1 program. These results cast doubts about the program efficacy in promoting public welfare in politically competitive locations with high migration levels.

 

Committee Leadership Selection without Seniority: The Mexican Case

Javier Aparicio and Joy Langston

Abstract. How are committee leaders in legislatures chosen absent seniority norms?  This paper argues that the prior political experience of legislators can serve as cues to caucus leaders to reduce adverse selection in a legislature where seniority cannot be the basis of allocating committee leadership posts because of single term limits. We assess whether differences in background and expertise have any effect on the likelihood of leading major, issue, or duty panels in the Mexican Chamber of Deputies elected between 1997 and 2006. Using a dataset of 1,391 federal deputies, we estimate the effect of the level (federal, state or local) and type (legislative, bureaucratic or party) of their prior expertise on committee leadership. Using Bayesian multinomial logit models, we find that well educated legislators with bureaucratic expertise are more likely to lead a major committee than those with prior legislative or other national level expertise. We find mixed evidence for so-called state governor loyalists.

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