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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

Related research

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

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References

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  1. Leonard Wantchekon, 2003. "Clientelism and voting behavior: Evidence from a field experiment in benin," Natural Field Experiments 00339, The Field Experiments Website.
  2. Jeffrey R Kling & Jeffrey B Liebman & Lawrence F Katz, 2007. "Experimental Analysis of Neighborhood Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(1), pages 83-119, 01.
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  5. Manuela Angelucci & Giacomo De Giorgi & Marcos A. Rangel & Imran Rasul, 2009. "Family Networks and School Enrolment: Evidence from a Randomized Social Experiment," NBER Working Papers 14949, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  9. Gordon Dahl & Stefano DellaVigna, 2009. "Does Movie Violence Increase Violent Crime?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(2), pages 677-734, May.
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Christian Helmers & Manasa Patnam, 2010. "Does the Rotten Child Spoil His Companion? Spatial Peer Effects Among Children in Rural India," CSAE Working Paper Series 2010-13, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  3. 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).
  4. Andrea Colombo & Olivia D'Aoust & Olivier Sterck, 2014. "From Rebellion to Electoral Violence: Evidence from Burundi," CSAE Working Paper Series 2014-20, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  5. Achyuta Adhvaryu & James Fenske, 2014. "Conflict and the Formation of Political Beliefs in Africa," HiCN Working Papers 164, Households in Conflict Network.
  6. 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.

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