Will Access to Information on Political Dynasties Alter Voting Behavior? Evidence From a Philippine Youth Voting Experiment

Asian Institute of Management Working Paper No. 13-019

49 Pages Posted: 12 Jul 2013

See all articles by Tristan Canare

Tristan Canare

Asian Institute of Management - Policy Center

Ronald U. Mendoza

Ateneo De Manila University - Ateneo School of Government

Gladys Navarro

Saint Louis University

Date Written: July 2013

Abstract

Many young democracies are characterized by the proliferation of political dynasties, i.e. elected politicians from the same clan spanning across time and across different elected positions. In the Philippines, there has been growing concern that political dynasties are on the rise, as more elected officials hail from political clans. Lack of information on political dynasties could be a potential reason behind this. Using a randomized control trial framework, this paper seeks to evaluate the impact of young voters’ access to information on political dynasties (i.e. the socio-economic correlates of this phenomenon) vis-à-vis their voting choices for top local government positions and the Senate in the Philippines. The two main delivery systems for the information are: a) a five-minute cartoon highlighting the main findings of a study on political dynasties in the Philippine Congress; and b) a lecture by one of the co-authors of that study. This paper finds some evidence that the lecture and the cartoon had an effect in terms of reducing votes for dynasties. Second, the lecture has a much greater impact than the cartoon in terms of its estimated effect on the voting preference of the participants. The study findings suggest that access to information on political dynasties has potentially large effects on electoral outcomes, should the result hold for a large share of young voters. Based on a simplified illustration, the lecture on political dynasties could potentially result in about less than half a million fewer votes for dynastic politicians for the top senate spot; and up to five million less votes for dynastic senatorial candidates for the 12 slots. Again, it should be emphasized that this is a mere illustration and not a projection of effects on actual elections. Nevertheless, the results are compelling in their potential magnitude, should these estimates hold true for the larger youth population.

Keywords: political dynasty, youth, elections, democracy

JEL Classification: D70, I39, O53, P16

Suggested Citation

Canare, Tristan and Mendoza, Ronald U. and Navarro, Gladys, Will Access to Information on Political Dynasties Alter Voting Behavior? Evidence From a Philippine Youth Voting Experiment (July 2013). Asian Institute of Management Working Paper No. 13-019. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2292253 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2292253

Tristan Canare

Asian Institute of Management - Policy Center ( email )

Eugenio Lopez Foundation Bldg
Joseph McMicking Campus, 123 Paseo de Roxas
Makati City, Metro Manila
Philippines

Ronald U. Mendoza (Contact Author)

Ateneo De Manila University - Ateneo School of Government ( email )

Katipunan Road
Loyola Heights
Quezon City, 1108
Philippines

Gladys Navarro

Saint Louis University ( email )

220 North Grand Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63103
United States

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