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Vote-Buying and Reciprocity

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  • Frederico Finan
  • Laura A. Schechter

Abstract

While vote-buying is common, little is known about how politicians determine who to target. We argue that vote-buying can be sustained by an internalized norm of reciprocity. Receiving money engenders feelings of obligation. Combining survey data on vote-buying with an experiment-based measure of reciprocity, we show that politicians target reciprocal individuals. Overall, our findings highlight the importance of social preferences in determining political behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • Frederico Finan & Laura A. Schechter, 2011. "Vote-Buying and Reciprocity," NBER Working Papers 17411, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17411
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    JEL classification:

    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development

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