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Votes and Violence: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Nigeria

  • Paul Collier
  • Pedro C. Vicente

Following the wave of democratization during the 1990s, elections are now common in low-income societies.� However, these elections are frequently flawed.� We investigate the Nigerian general election of 2007, which is to date the largest election held in Africa and one seriously marred by violence.� We designed and conducted a nationwide field experiment based on randomized anti-violence grassroots campaigning.� We find direct effects on violence outcomes from exploring both subject-surveying and independent data sources.� Crucially, we establish that voter intimidation is effective in reducing voter turnout, and that the violence was systematically dissociated from incumbents.� We suggest that incumbents have a comparative advantage in alternative strategies, vote buying and ballot fraud.� Voter intimidation may be a strategy of the weak analogous to terrorism.

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File URL: http://www.csae.ox.ac.uk/workingpapers/pdfs/2008-16text.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number WPS/2008-16.

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Date of creation: 01 Jun 2008
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:wps/2008-16
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