Election Fairness and Government Legitimacy in Afghanistan

50 Pages Posted: 10 Mar 2014 Last revised: 6 Jul 2022

See all articles by Eli Berman

Eli Berman

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Michael Callen

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Michael Joseph Callen

University of California, Los Angeles

Clark Gibson

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Department of Political Science

James Long

University of Washington

Date Written: March 2014

Abstract

International development agencies invest heavily in institution building in fragile states, including expensive interventions to support democratic elections. Yet little evidence exists on whether elections enhance the domestic legitimacy of governments. Using the random assignment of an innovative election fraud-reducing intervention in Afghanistan, we find that decreasing electoral misconduct improves multiple survey measures of attitudes toward government, including: (1) whether Afghanistan is a democracy; (2) whether the police should resolve disputes; (3) whether members of parliament provide services; and (4) willingness to report insurgent behavior to security forces.

Suggested Citation

Berman, Eli and Callen, Michael and Callen, Michael Joseph and Gibson, Clark C. and Long, James, Election Fairness and Government Legitimacy in Afghanistan (March 2014). NBER Working Paper No. w19949, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2406751

Eli Berman (Contact Author)

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Department of Economics ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Michael Callen

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
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Michael Joseph Callen

University of California, Los Angeles ( email )

540 Alumni Ln
Davis, CA 95616
United States

Clark C. Gibson

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Department of Political Science ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
Code 0521
La Jolla, CA 92093-0521
United States

James Long

University of Washington ( email )

Seattle, WA 98195
United States

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