Field Experiment Estimate of Electoral Fraud in Russian Parliamentary Elections
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Forthcoming
8 Pages Posted: 25 Dec 2012
Date Written: December 24, 2012
Electoral fraud is a widespread phenomenon, especially outside the developed world. Despite abundant qualitative and anecdotal evidence on its existence from around the world, there is very limited quantitative evidence on the extent of electoral fraud. We exploit random assignment of independent observers to 156 of 3,164 polling stations in the city of Moscow to estimate the effect of electoral fraud on the outcome of the Russian parliamentary elections held on December 4, 2011. We estimate the actual share of votes for the incumbent United Russia party to be at least 11 percentage points lower than the ofﬁcial count (36% instead of 47%). Our results suggest that the extent of the fraud was sufﬁcient to have had a substantial impact on the outcome of the elections; they also conﬁrm that the presence of observers is an important factor in ensuring the integrity of the procedure.
Keywords: electoral fraud, field experiment, Russia, nondemocratic government
JEL Classification: P16, C93
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation