DOI: 10.1111/ecca.12505 ISSN: 0013-0427

When populists deliver on their promises: the electoral effects of a large cash transfer programme in Poland

Jan Gromadzki, Katarzyna Sałach, Michał Brzeziński
  • Economics and Econometrics


We estimate the effects of the introduction of a large cash transfer programme on support for the ruling populist party in Poland. We exploit the variation at the municipal level in the annual cash transfer amount received per capita, and use a difference‐in‐differences research design to study the electoral effects of the transfer. Our results show that a cash transfer amount of $100 per capita translated into an increase in the vote share for the ruling party of nearly two percentage points. One‐third of additional votes came from new voters coming off the sidelines, and the remaining electoral gains were due to voters who had previously voted for other parties. The effects of the programme are persistent, as we see no decrease in the magnitude of effects seven years after the introduction.

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