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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. 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.
    2. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Television; Dictatorship; Elections; Transition;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • P26 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Political Economy

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