Electoral Manipulation as Bureaucratic Control

31 Pages Posted: 19 May 2013 Last revised: 19 Nov 2013

Date Written: 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.

Keywords: electoral manipulation, bureaucracy

JEL Classification: D72, D73

Suggested Citation

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

Scott Gehlbach (Contact Author)

University of Chicago ( email )

1101 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Alberto Simpser

ITAM ( email )

Rio Hondo 1
Mexico City, CDMX 01080
+525556284000 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.albertosimpser.com

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