We examine a phenomenon we call “credit claiming by labeling” in which a sitting politician places her name on a project, program, or policy with the goal of claiming credit for it. While the prevalence of this practice suggests that many politicians believe that credit claiming by labeling will aid their careers, there is little existing evidence on this question. We examine the effects of credit claiming by labeling with a survey experiment in Argentina. We find that it has a negative, though small, effect on respondents’ attitudes. Descriptive data suggests that these results stem from the perceived pervasiveness of the practice. We then use evidence from an additional treatment on the (un)biased selection of program beneficiaries to show that respondents actually reward politicians who neither label nor manipulate programs. These results suggest substantial obstacles to overturning citizens’ negative baseline beliefs about the politicized implementation of government programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2099-2127
Number of pages29
JournalComparative Political Studies
Issue number13
StatePublished - Nov 2023


  • Argentina
  • clientelism
  • credit claiming
  • social policy
  • survey experiment
  • voter attitudes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Credit Claiming by Labeling'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this