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

  • Marcel Fafchamps
  • Pedro C Vicente

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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