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Who Debates, Who Wins? At-Scale Experimental Evidence on the Supply of Policy Information in a Liberian Election

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  • Bowles, Jeremy
  • Larreguy, Horacio

Abstract

We examine how candidate selection into the supply of policy information determines its electoral effects. In a nationwide debate initiative designed to solicit and rebroadcast policy promises from Liberian legislative candidates, we randomized the encouragement of debate participation across districts. The intervention substantially increased the debate participation of leading candidates but led to uneven electoral returns for these candidates, with incumbents benefiting at the expense of challengers. These results are driven by differences in compliance: complying incumbents, but not challengers, positively selected into debate participation based on the alignment of their policy priorities with those of their constituents.

Suggested Citation

  • Bowles, Jeremy & Larreguy, Horacio, 2020. "Who Debates, Who Wins? At-Scale Experimental Evidence on the Supply of Policy Information in a Liberian Election," TSE Working Papers 20-1153, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
  • Handle: RePEc:tse:wpaper:124777
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    1. Henn, Soeren & Larreguy, Horacio & Marshall, John, 2020. "You get what you pay for: When do Certification Programs improve Public Service Delivery?," TSE Working Papers 20-1154, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    accountability; information; selection;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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