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Political violence and social networks: Experimental evidence from a Nigerian election

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  • Fafchamps, Marcel
  • Vicente, Pedro C.

Abstract

Voter education campaigns often aim to increase political participation and accountability. We followed a randomized campaign against electoral violence sponsored by an international NGO during the 2007 Nigerian elections. This paper investigates whether the effects of the campaign were transmitted indirectly through kinship, chatting, and geographical proximity. For individuals personally targeted by campaigners, we estimate the reinforcement effect of proximity to other targeted individuals. For individuals who self-report to be untargeted by campaigners, we estimate the diffusion of the campaign depending on proximity to targeted individuals. We find evidence for both effects, particularly on perceptions of violence. Effects are large in magnitude — often similar to the average effect of the campaign. Kinship is the strongest channel of reinforcement and diffusion. We also find that geographical proximity transmits simple effects on perceptions, and that chatting conveys more complex effects on behavior.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 101 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 27-48

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Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:101:y:2013:i:c:p:27-48

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/devec

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Keywords: Voter education; Political violence; Social networks; Nigeria; Field experiment;

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References

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  2. A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach & Douglas L. Miller, 2007. "Bootstrap-Based Improvements for Inference with Clustered Errors," NBER Technical Working Papers 0344, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Finkel, Steven E., 2013. "The impact of adult civic education programmes in developing democracies," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  2. Andrea Colombo & Olivia D'Aoust & Olivier Sterck, 2014. "From Rebellion to Electoral Violence. Evidence from Burundi," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2014-33, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  3. Christian Helmers & Manasa Patnam, 2010. "Does the Rotten Child Spoil His Companion? Spatial Peer Effects Among Children in Rural India," Economics Series Working Papers CSAE WPS/2010-13, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  4. Ana Sílvia de Matos Vaz, 2012. "Interpersonal Influence Regarding the Decision to Vote Within Mozambican Households," CSAE Working Paper Series 2012-14, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  5. Ana Silvia de Matos Vas, 2012. "Interpersonal Influence Regarding the Decision to Vote Within Mozambican Households," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2012-14, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  6. Achyuta Adhvaryu & James Fenske, 2014. "Conflict and the Formation of Political Beliefs in Africa," HiCN Working Papers 164, Households in Conflict Network.

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