Votes and Violence: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Nigeria

29 Pages Posted: 25 Feb 2014

See all articles by Paul Collier

Paul Collier

University of Oxford - Blavatnik School of Government

Pedro C. Vicente

New University of Lisbon - Nova School of Business and Economics

Date Written: February 2014

Abstract

Elections are now common in low‐income societies. However, they are frequently flawed. We investigate a Nigerian election marred by violence. We designed and conducted a nationwide field experiment based on anti‐violence campaigning. The campaign appealed to collective action through electoral participation, and worked through town meetings, popular theatres and door‐to‐door distribution of materials. We find that the campaign decreased violence perceptions and increased empowerment to counteract violence. We observe a rise in voter turnout and infer that the intimidation was dissociated from incumbents. These effects are accompanied by a reduction in the intensity of actual violence, as measured by journalists.

Suggested Citation

Collier, Paul and Vicente, Pedro C., Votes and Violence: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Nigeria (February 2014). The Economic Journal, Vol. 124, Issue 574, pp. F327-F355, 2014, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2400792 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ecoj.12109

Paul Collier

University of Oxford - Blavatnik School of Government ( email )

10 Merton St
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4JJ
United Kingdom

Pedro C. Vicente

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

Campus de Campolide
Lisbon, 1099-032
Portugal

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