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Can television bring down a dictator? Evidence from Chile’s “No” campaign

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  • González, Felipe
  • Prem, Mounu

Abstract

Can televised political advertising change voting behavior in elections held in authoritarian regimes? We study the case of Chile, where the opposition used television campaigns weeks before the election that ended the seventeen-year dictatorship known as the Pinochet regime. Using national surveys conducted before the election and administrative electoral data, we provide evidence of a positive effect of television exposure on opposition votes. When compared to similar estimates in democracies, the effect of campaigns in Chile appear large. These results suggest that televised political campaigns can help to defeat dictators at the polls.

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  • González, Felipe & Prem, Mounu, 2018. "Can television bring down a dictator? Evidence from Chile’s “No” campaign," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 349-361.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:46:y:2018:i:1:p:349-361
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jce.2017.11.005
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    Cited by:

    1. Aldunate, Felipe & González, Felipe & Prem, Mounu & Urzúa, Francisco, 2020. "Privatization and business groups: Evidence from the Chicago Boys in Chile," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 78(C).
    2. María Angelica Bautista & Felipe González & Luis R. Martínez & Pablo Munoz & Mounu Prem, 2018. "The Geography of Repression and Support for Democracy: Evidence from the Pinochet Dictatorship," Documentos de Trabajo 017007, Universidad del Rosario.
    3. González, Felipe & Prem, Mounu, 2018. "The value of political capital: Dictatorship collaborators as business elites," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 155(C), pages 217-230.
    4. Ethan Kaplan & Fernando Saltiel & Sergio S. Urzúa, 2019. "Voting for Democracy: Chile's Plebiscito and the Electoral Participation of a Generation," NBER Working Papers 26440, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Bai, Yu & Li, Yanjun, 2020. "Good bye Chiang Kai-shek? The long-lasting effects of education under the authoritarian regime in Taiwan," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 78(C).
    6. Felipe González & Felipe Aldunate & Mounu Prem & Francisco Urzúa, 2020. "Privatization and business groups: Evidence from the Chicago Boys in Chile," Documentos de Trabajo 537, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
    7. Matí­as Brum, 2018. "Do Dictatorships Affect People's Long Term Beliefs and Preferences? : An Empirical Assessment of the Latin American Case," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 18-18, Instituto de Economia - IECON.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Television; Dictatorship; Elections; Transition;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • L74 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Primary Products and Construction - - - Construction

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