Do Government Benefits Affect Officeholders’ Electoral Fortunes? Evidence from State Earned Income Tax Credits

Thursday, September 23, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM (ET)
LUT LUT 200 Instruction and Events
Event Type
Hochberg, Rachel A

Join the Libraries for the first Young Academic Alumni Lecture of the year with Hunter Rendleman BMC '18!

Whether and how individuals link benefits they receive from the government to their voting behavior is a central question in political economy. Rendleman and coauthor Jesse Yoder study this question using one of the largest social provision programs in the United States: The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). They exploit the staggered roll-out of state-level EITC programs to estimate the causal effect of the program on elections, voter behavior, and attitudes about the government. Contrary to predictions from the policy feedback literature, they show that the credit leads to higher vote shares and approval ratings for the implementing governor. These effects are temporally limited to the first years of the credit’s availability, and dissipate over time. Taken together, the results offer new insights about the conditions under which particularistic economic policies affect political outcomes.

Hunter Rendleman is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Government at Harvard University and a James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Ph.D. Scholar in Inequality and Wealth Concentration at the Harvard Kennedy School. She is an affiliate of the Institute for Quantitative Social Science and the Center for American Political Studies. She uses a variety of methods to study political behavior, African American politics, and the role of fiscal and social policy in shaping political outcomes.

This event is sponsored by the Economics Department and the Libraries, and is free and open to the public. In order to adhere to College masking policy, visitors attending must remain masked while inside Lutnick Library and refreshments will not be served.

Get Directions
Event Date
Event Time