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Hitting Them with Carrots: Voter Intimidation and Vote Buying in Russia

45 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2015 Last revised: 20 Jan 2017

Timothy Frye

Columbia University - Department of Political Science; National Research University Higher School of Economics

Ora John Reuter

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee - Department of Political Science; National Research University Higher School of Economics

David Szakonyi

George Washington University

Date Written: December 17, 2016

Abstract

Scholars have identified many ways that politicians use carrots, such as vote buying, to mobilize voters, but have paid far less attention to how they use sticks, such as voter intimidation. We develop a simple argument which suggests that voter intimidation should be especially likely where vote buying is expensive and employers have greater leverage over employees. Using survey experiments and crowd-sourced electoral violation reports from the 2011-12 election cycle in Russia, we find evidence consistent with these claims. Moreover, we find that where employers have less leverage over employees, active forms of monitoring may supplement intimidation in order to encourage compliance. These results suggest that employers can be reliable vote brokers; that voter intimidation can persist in a middle-income country; and that, under some conditions intimidation may be employed without the need for active monitoring.

Suggested Citation

Frye, Timothy and Reuter, Ora John and Szakonyi, David, Hitting Them with Carrots: Voter Intimidation and Vote Buying in Russia (December 17, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2705075 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2705075

Timothy Frye

Columbia University - Department of Political Science ( email )

MC3320
420 West 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
United States
212-854-3646 (Phone)

National Research University Higher School of Economics

Myasnitskaya street, 20
Moscow, Moscow 119017
Russia

Ora John Reuter (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee - Department of Political Science ( email )

PO Box 413
Milwaukee, WI 53211
United States

National Research University Higher School of Economics ( email )

Myasnitskaya street, 20
Moscow, Moscow 119017
Russia

David Szakonyi

George Washington University ( email )

2121 I Street NW
Washington, DC 20052
United States

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