Electoral Incentives, Natural Resource Revenues, and Local Protests: Evidence from Peru


How do electoral incentives influence the negative consequences of resource revenues on protest at the local level? Existing literature has found that the presence of natural resource rents is linked to increased protests - the so-called “local resource curse.” We argue that natural resource revenue’s effects on the likelihood of protest are highly contingent upon the electoral incentives present at the local level. Using original protest and mayoral election data in Peru at the subnational level covering over 1,600 municipalities during Peru’s 2006 to 2018 elections periods. We found that the impacts of resource rents on the likelihood of protest are conditional upon electoral incentives. Varying levels of political competition provides incumbents and challengers alike opposing incentives for whether to invest in broader public goods provisions or for altruistic means to obtain more votes. Our findings add to the growing literature on exploring the subnational political consequences of natural resources and protest.

José Incio
José Incio
Ph.D in Political Science

My research interests include democratic backsliding, subnational politics, methodology.