Voting and Peer Effects: Experimental Evidence from Mozambique

NOVAFRICA Working Paper No. 1303

58 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2014

See all articles by Marcel Fafchamps

Marcel Fafchamps

Stanford University - Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies

Ana Vaz

University of Oxford

Pedro C. Vicente

New University of Lisbon - Nova School of Business and Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: September 1, 2013

Abstract

Voter education campaigns often aim to increase voter participation and political accountability. We follow randomized interventions implemented nationwide during the 2009 Mozambican elections using a free newspaper, leaflets, and text messaging. We investigate whether treatment effects were transmitted through social networks (kinship and chatting) and geographical proximity. For individuals personally targeted by the campaign, we estimate the reinforcement effect of proximity to other targeted individuals. For untargeted individuals, we estimate the diffusion of the campaign depending on a proximity to targeted individuals. We find evidence for both effects, similar across the different treatments and across the different connectedness measures. We observe that the treatments worked through the networks by raising the levels of information and interest about the election, in line with the average treatment effects of voter education on voter participation. We interpret this result as a free riding effect, likely to occur for costly actions.

Suggested Citation

Fafchamps, Marcel and Vaz, Ana and Vicente, Pedro C., Voting and Peer Effects: Experimental Evidence from Mozambique (September 1, 2013). NOVAFRICA Working Paper No. 1303, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2384592 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2384592

Marcel Fafchamps

Stanford University - Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Ana Vaz

University of Oxford ( email )

Mansfield Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4AU
United Kingdom

Pedro C. Vicente (Contact Author)

New University of Lisbon - Nova School of Business and Economics ( email )

Campus de Campolide
Lisbon, 1099-032
Portugal

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