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Enfranchising Your Own? Experimental Evidence on Bureaucrat Diversity and Election Bias in India

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  • Yusuf Neggers

Abstract

This paper investigates the effects of polling station administrator diversity on elections in India, using a natural experiment: the random assignment of government officials to teams managing stations on election day, together with surveys conducted with voters and election officers. I demonstrate that changes in the religious and caste composition of officer teams impact voting at the polling station level, causing shifts in coalition vote shares large enough to influence election outcomes. Effects are strongest when officers have greater discretion over the voting process. I also provide evidence suggesting own-group favoritism by election personnel as one relevant mechanism.

Suggested Citation

  • Yusuf Neggers, 2018. "Enfranchising Your Own? Experimental Evidence on Bureaucrat Diversity and Election Bias in India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 108(6), pages 1288-1321, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:108:y:2018:i:6:p:1288-1321
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.20170404
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Dhillon, Amrita & Kotsialou, Grammateia & McBurney, Peter & Riley, Luke, 2020. "Voting over a Distributed Ledger: An interdisciplinary perspective," SocArXiv 34df5, Center for Open Science.
    2. J. Andrew Harris & Catherine Kamindo & Peter van der Windt, 2020. "Electoral Administration in Fledgling Democracies:Experimental Evidence from Kenya," Working Papers 20200036, New York University Abu Dhabi, Department of Social Science, revised Jan 2020.
    3. Dhillon, Amrita & Kotsialou, Grammateia & McBurney, Peter & Riley, Luke, 2019. "Introduction to Voting and the Blockchain: some open questions for economists," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 416, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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