Working Papers

Clientelism and Poverty: Voter Buying in Colombia (JMP). [Link]

High income countries have lower levels of corruption, but it is still unclear whether higher incomes causally reduce the propensity to engage in corruption. This paper studies the effect of income on corruption in elections. To do so, I digitize novel information on vote buying from official records and exploit a nationwide cash transfer program in Colombia. Using a discontinuity that determines eligibility for the transfer in a regression discontinuity design, this paper finds that this increase in income reduced the likelihood of someone having their vote bought by 18 to 27%. I show that this is explained by an income effect rather than other mechanisms such as becoming more civically engaged. Back of the envelope calculations indicate that around 30,000 votes were not sold as a result of the program. I also document how other characteristics, such as closeness of elections, affect the political economy of vote buying, and, therefore, the effectiveness of the cash transfers in reducing this form of clientelism.

Campaign Spending Limits and Irregular Political Behavior [Link]

This paper studies the unintended consequences of political campaign spending limit regulations in Colombia. To do so, I use discontinuities in electoral campaign spending limits to estimate their causal effects on vote buying and organized violence. The campaign spending limits are determined according to arbitrary cutoffs of potential voters for each municipality. Using a pooled Regression Discontinuity Design, the results indicate that tighter campaign spending limits increase vote buying and organized violence. The results suggest that tight campaign spending limits can lead to unexpected and undesirable outcomes, such as the use of fraudulent or illegal practices as a substitute to legal financial resources to attract voters for political gain. (New version coming soon).

Work in Progress

  • Automatic Digitization of Individual Voter Turnout Data in Colombia (2011-2019). With C. Molina.

  • Civic Duty and the Enhancement of Democracy. With C. Molina.

Pre-Ph.D. Work

  • Montenegro, S.; Llano, J.; Cáceres, J.M. & Fajury, K. (2019). Demographic Transition, Return Rates and Replacement Rates of Fully Funded Pension Systems versus PAYG Pension Systems" (No. 2019-15). Universidad de los Andes - CEDE. [Link]

  • Montenegro, S.; Llano, J.; Eslava, D.; Fajury, K. & Cáceres, J.M. (2018). Un modelo para evaluar el sistema pensional colombiano" (No. 2018-51). Universidad de los Andes - CEDE. (In Spanish). [Link]

  • Montenegro, S.; Llano, J.; Fajury, K. & García, M.C. (2017). The unfeasibility of pay-as-you-go pension systems in countries that still enjoy a demographic dividend: The case for Colombia" (No. 2017-52). Universidad de los Andes - CEDE. [Link]