Interpersonal Influence Regarding the Decision to Vote Within Mozambican Households
Voter education is crucial to promote voters’ participation. The question that remains is how voter education campaigns can reach a significant part of the population. During the 2009 Mozambican elections, a field experiment implemented three voter education interventions: the distribution of a free newspaper, the creation of a SMS hotline to report electoral problems, and a civic education campaign. Based on a sample of untreated individuals living with experimental subjects, this paper examines the diffusion of the interventions’ effects within the household. I find different spillover effects associated with different interventions and interpret that as evidence that different interventions trigger influence at different levels. I find that the delivery of the newspaper has almost no effect on the other people in the household. The hotline intervention affects the preferences and behavior of the other individuals, but not their information. Finally, the civic education campaign only affects the behavior of other people in the household. This paper shows that the transmission of voter education campaigns’ effects does not occur through information sharing, but through sharing of opinions and pressure. Furthermore, this study provides statistical evidence that social control increases voter turnout.
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