The demand side of clientelism: The role of client’s perceptions and values

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Show simple item record Pellicer, Miquel Wegner, Eva Benstead, Lindsay Kincaid, Harold Lust, Ellen Vasquez, Juanita 2014-11-27T12:29:01Z 2014-11-27T12:29:01Z 2014-11
dc.identifier.citation Pellicer, M., Wegner, E., Benstead, L., Kincaid, H., Lust, E., Vasquez, J., (2014). The demand side of clientelism: The role of client’s perceptions and values. A Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit Working Paper Number 140. Cape Town: SALDRU, University of Cape Town
dc.identifier.isbn 978-1-928281-01-6
dc.description.abstract Political science literature on clientelism has tended to focus primarily on the role of parties and brokers, leaving the demand side of clientelism - the choices of potential clients - relatively unexplored. This paper proposes a formal framework shedding light on the demand side of clientelism. We conceptualize clientelistic choice as one between engaging in clientelism, on the one hand, and supporting a redistributive platform, on the other. This approach allows us to draw insights from the social psychology literature on mobilization and the economics literature on redistribution preferences. Our framework nests the standard model of clientelistic choice, with factors such as poverty and ideological stance, but also includes other factors such as perceptions of political efficacy and values regarding the legitimacy of existing inequalities. We start with a simple static model that allows us to study the role of these factors in a simple, unified way. Our framework is well suited to address issues relatively unexplored in the literature, including the role of clients in the persistence of clientelism and the reasons clientelism persists or is eliminated. Most importantly, we address how clientelism gets transformed from a “traditional” type of clientelism, embedded in legitimized social relations, to a “modern” type, such as vote buying. To address these issues, we study a dynamic extension of the model where efficacy and legitimacy perceptions are endogenized and the degree of informational connectivity in the community is incorporated. In our model, efficacy and legitimation perceptions reinforce each other because efficacy perceptions lead people to expect high and sustained inequality which is then legitimized in order to protect self-esteem. This generates multiple steady states, one of which resembles a “traditional” form of clientelism that features widespread clientelism and disempowered clients that legitimize social inequalities. Informational connectivity breaks this reinforcement mechanism and thus leads to a unique steady state where clientelism and programmatic redistribution co-exist, and that resembles a “modern” type of clientelism. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries Saldru Working Paper;140
dc.subject Clientelism en_US
dc.subject Demand side en_US
dc.subject Mobilisation en_US
dc.title The demand side of clientelism: The role of client’s perceptions and values en_US
dc.type Working Paper en_US

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