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Electoral Manipulation as Bureaucratic Control

Scott Gehlbach

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Alberto Simpser

ITAM (Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico)

November 18, 2013

Bureaucratic compliance is often crucial for political survival, yet eliciting that compliance in weakly institutionalized environments requires that political principals convince agents that their hold on power is secure. We provide a formal model to show that electoral manipulation can help to solve this agency problem. By influencing beliefs about a ruler's hold on power, manipulation can encourage a bureaucrat to work on behalf of the ruler when he would not otherwise do so. This result holds under various common technologies of electoral manipulation. Manipulation is more likely when the bureaucrat is dependent on the ruler for his career and when the probability is high that even generally unsupportive citizens would reward bureaucratic effort. The relationship between the ruler's expected popularity and the likelihood of manipulation, in turn, depends on the technology of manipulation.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 31

Keywords: electoral manipulation, bureaucracy

JEL Classification: D72, D73

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Date posted: May 19, 2013 ; Last revised: November 19, 2013

Suggested Citation

Gehlbach, Scott and Simpser, Alberto, Electoral Manipulation as Bureaucratic Control (November 18, 2013). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2266988 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2266988

Contact Information

Scott Gehlbach (Contact Author)
University of Wisconsin-Madison ( email )
1050 Bascom Mall
Madison, WI 53706
United States
608-263-2391 (Phone)
Alberto Simpser
ITAM (Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico) ( email )
Av. Camino a Sta. Teresa 930
Col. Héroes de Padierna
Mexico City, D.F. 01000, Federal District 01080
+1(650)387-8575 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://www.albertosimpser.com
Feedback to SSRN

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