Patronage and Public Goods Provisioning in an Unequal Land
This study explores the relationship between economic and political inequalities and access to public goods provisioning in Pakistan. We construct measures of political inequality and political patronage using voting data, and economic inequality measures using representative household data.
Firstly, we find a strong concave relationship between economic inequality and access to residential supply of natural gas. Secondly, we find that the presence of strong-men who can capture large vote shares is associated with higher access to natural gas.
We uncover an optimal size of patrons: Patrons have an insignificant positive effect on access when patrons capture less than 20% of the votes and an insignificant negative effect when they capture morethan 30%. At 20%, they have a positive effect that is significant in both a statistical and an economic sense.