IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/spo/wpmain/infohdl2441-7j1t12vvla8c887v4q18ihljej.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Eat Widely, Vote Wisely ? Lessons from a Campaign Against Vote Buying in Uganda

Author

Listed:
  • null null

    (Harris School of Public Policy)

  • Horacio Larreguy

    (Harvard University)

  • Benjamin Marx

    (Département d'économie)

  • Otis Reid

    (Massachusetts Institute of Technology [Cambridge] (MIT))

Abstract

We estimate the effects of one of the largest anti-vote-buying campaigns ever studied—with half a million voters exposed across 1427 villages—in Uganda’s 2016 elections. Working with civil society organizations, we designed the study to estimate how voters and candidates responded to their campaign in treatment and spillover villages, and how impacts varied with campaign intensity. Despite its heavy footprint, the campaign did not reduce politician offers of gifts in exchange for votes. However, it had sizable effects on people’s votes. Votes swung from well-funded incumbents (who buy most votes) towards their poorly-financed challengers. We argue the swing arose from changes in village social norms plus the tactical response of candidates. While the campaign struggled to instill norms of refusing gifts, it leveled the electoral playing field by convincing some voters to abandon norms of reciprocity—thus accepting gifts from politicians but voting for their preferred candidate.

Suggested Citation

  • null null & Horacio Larreguy & Benjamin Marx & Otis Reid, 2019. "Eat Widely, Vote Wisely ? Lessons from a Campaign Against Vote Buying in Uganda," Sciences Po publications 2019-11, Sciences Po.
  • Handle: RePEc:spo:wpmain:info:hdl:2441/7j1t12vvla8c887v4q18ihljej
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://spire.sciencespo.fr/hdl:/2441/7j1t12vvla8c887v4q18ihljej/resources/2019-marx-et-al-eat-widely-vote-wisely-lessons-from-a-campaign-against-vote-buying-in-uganda.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Pedro C. Vicente, 2014. "Is Vote Buying Effective? Evidence from a Field Experiment in West Africa," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 124(574), pages 356-387, February.
    2. Eli Berman & Michael J. Callen & Clark Gibson & James D. Long, 2014. "Election Fairness and Government Legitimacy in Afghanistan," NBER Working Papers 19949, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. repec:cup:apsrev:v:102:y:2008:i:01:p:19-31_08 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Timothy Besley & Torsten Persson & Daniel M. Sturm, 2010. "Political Competition, Policy and Growth: Theory and Evidence from the United States," CEP Discussion Papers dp1009, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    5. Beber, Bernd & Scacco, Alexandra, 2012. "What the Numbers Say: A Digit-Based Test for Election Fraud," Political Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 20(2), pages 211-234, April.
    6. repec:aea:aecrev:v:107:y:2017:i:10:p:3006-37 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Khemani, Stuti, 2015. "Buying votes versus supplying public services: Political incentives to under-invest in pro-poor policies," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 84-93.
    8. Timothy Besley & Torsten Persson & Daniel M. Sturm, 2010. "Political Competition, Policy and Growth: Theory and Evidence from the US," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(4), pages 1329-1352.
    9. repec:cup:apsrev:v:99:y:2005:i:03:p:315-325_05 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. repec:tpr:restat:v:100:y:2018:i:5:p:844-860 is not listed on IDEAS
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Elections; Voting Behavior; Field Experiment; Africa;

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spo:wpmain:info:hdl:2441/7j1t12vvla8c887v4q18ihljej. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Spire @ Sciences Po Library). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/ecspofr.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.