Cash transfers’ effect on government support: The case of Fiji

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While some scholars have found that post-disaster government assistance benefits the incumbent, others have shown that incumbent effects are imperceptible or negative. This article contributes to this debate by using a regression discontinuity design of households affected by Tropical Cyclone Winston in Fiji, to show that the type of assistance provided is an important variable to understand the effects of aid on government support. Fijians receiving a post-disaster cash transfer are up to 20 percent more likely to be “very satisfied” with the government as opposed to those that did not. The probability further increases if the CT is provided along with in-kind benefits or vouchers but is not affected if citizens are also encouraged to use their own pension savings. This paper provides evidence in favor of an “attentive” citizen, capable of identifying government responses, and of possible effects of elite capture on the relationship between government and citizens.


Last updated on 07/03/2019