Pablo Selaya

Thematic seminars
Development and political economy seminar

Pablo Selaya

Copenhagen University
The return of Pachamama: Coca, politics and empowerment in Bolivia
Joint with
Carlos Molina, James A. Robinson

MEGA Salle Carine Nourry

MEGA - Salle Carine Nourry

Maison de l'économie et de la gestion d'Aix
424 chemin du viaduc
13080 Aix-en-Provence

Friday, March 18 2022| 12:00pm to 1:15pm

Timothée Demont: timothee.demont[at]
Eva Raiber: eva.raiber[at]


We study the political and economic consequences of the violation of the "moral economy" of rural Bolivia, based on coca, caused by the escalation of coca eradication in the 1990s. We show that this policy is associated with the rise of the MAS political party - their vote share is significantly higher both in coca suitable places and in the presence of traditional socio-political institutions, notably the Aymara Ayllu. We then study the consequences of controlling the state after 2005. We present evidence of an "empowerment effect" in the form of an increased use by indigenous people of indigenous first names for their children. Using survey data we show that indigenous people significantly increased their expectations of social mobility after 2005.

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