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Political Violence and Social Networks: Experimental Evidence from a Nigerian Election

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  • Marcel Fafchamps
  • Pedro C Vicente

Abstract

Political accountability and participation are taken as key ingredients for development. In this context voter education and informational campaigns are becoming popular with donors. We followed a large-scale randomized campaign against electoral violence sponsored by an international NGO during the 2007 Nigerian elections. Substantial direct effects on perceptions about violence and voting behaviour are reported for this campaign. This paper is devoted to the assessment of the network effects of the intervention. Comprehensive measurement of the links between households allows us to estimate reinforcement effects on the treated subjects in campaign locations, and diffusion effects on untreated subjects in campaign locations. These effects are derived with reference to suitable comparison groups in untreated locations. We find evidence for both network effects using different estimation techniques. Namely, we document the importance of kinship and geographical distance in spreading perceptions associated with the campaign. We do not find clear network effects on behaviour.

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Paper provided by Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford in its series CSAE Working Paper Series with number 2009-14.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:2009-14

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  1. Angelucci, Manuela & De Giorgi, Giacomo & Rangel, Marcos A. & Rasul, Imran, 2009. "Family Networks and School Enrolment: Evidence from a Randomized Social Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 4497, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Stefano DellaVigna & Ethan Kaplan, 2006. "The Fox News Effect: Media Bias and Voting," NBER Working Papers 12169, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Edward Miguel & Michael Kremer, 2004. "Worms: Identifying Impacts on Education and Health in the Presence of Treatment Externalities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 72(1), pages 159-217, 01.
  4. Jeffrey R Kling & Jeffrey B Liebman & Lawrence F Katz, 2007. "Experimental Analysis of Neighborhood Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 75(1), pages 83-119, 01.
  5. A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach & Douglas L. Miller, 2007. "Bootstrap-Based Improvements for Inference with Clustered Errors," NBER Technical Working Papers, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc 0344, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Gordon Dahl & Stefano DellaVigna, 2009. "Does Movie Violence Increase Violent Crime?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 124(2), pages 677-734, May.
  7. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275, February.
  8. Bandiera, Oriana & Rasul, Imran, 2002. "Social Networks and Technology Adoption in Northern Mozambique," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 3341, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Timur Kuran, 1989. "Sparks and prairie fires: A theory of unanticipated political revolution," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 61(1), pages 41-74, April.
  10. Moulton, Brent R, 1990. "An Illustration of a Pitfall in Estimating the Effects of Aggregate Variables on Micro Unit," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 72(2), pages 334-38, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Finkel, Steven E., 2013. "The impact of adult civic education programmes in developing democracies," Working Paper Series, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER) UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  2. Ana Silvia de Matos Vas, 2012. "Interpersonal Influence Regarding the Decision to Vote Within Mozambican Households," Economics Series Working Papers, University of Oxford, Department of Economics WPS/2012-14, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  3. Ana Sílvia de Matos Vaz, 2012. "Interpersonal Influence Regarding the Decision to Vote Within Mozambican Households," CSAE Working Paper Series, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford 2012-14, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  4. Andrea Colombo & Olivia D'Aoust & Olivier Sterck, 2014. "From Rebellion to Electoral Violence. Evidence from Burundi," Working Papers ECARES, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles ECARES 2014-33, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  5. Christian Helmers & Manasa Patnam, 2010. "Does the Rotten Child Spoil His Companion? Spatial Peer Effects Among Children in Rural India," Economics Series Working Papers, University of Oxford, Department of Economics CSAE WPS/2010-13, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  6. Achyuta Adhvaryu & James Fenske, 2014. "Conflict and the Formation of Political Beliefs in Africa," HiCN Working Papers, Households in Conflict Network 164, Households in Conflict Network.

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