Brokering Votes with Information Spread Via Social Networks

59 Pages Posted: 9 Sep 2019 Last revised: 23 Sep 2019

See all articles by Raul Duarte

Raul Duarte

Harvard University

Frederico Finan

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Horacio Larreguy Arbesu

Harvard University

Laura Schechter

University of Wisconsin at Madison - Agricultural and Applied Economics; University of Wisconsin at Madison - Economics

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Date Written: September 2019

Abstract

Throughout much of the developing world, politicians rely on political brokers to buy votes prior to elections. We investigate how social networks help facilitate vote-buying exchanges by combining village network data of brokers and voters with broker reports of vote buying. We show that networks diffuse politically-relevant information about voters to brokers who leverage it to target voters. In particular, we find that brokers target reciprocal voters who are not registered to their party and about whom they can hear more information through their social network. These results highlight the importance of information diffusion through social networks for vote buying and ultimately for political outcomes.

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Suggested Citation

Duarte, Raul and Finan, Frederico and Larreguy Arbesu, Horacio and Schechter, Laura, Brokering Votes with Information Spread Via Social Networks (September 2019). NBER Working Paper No. w26241, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3450267

Raul Duarte (Contact Author)

Harvard University ( email )

Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Frederico Finan

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics ( email )

310 Barrows Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Horacio Larreguy Arbesu

Harvard University ( email )

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Laura Schechter

University of Wisconsin at Madison - Agricultural and Applied Economics ( email )

427 Lorch St.
Madison, WI 53706-1503
United States

HOME PAGE: http://aae.wisc.edu/lschechter

University of Wisconsin at Madison - Economics ( email )

William H. Sewell Social Science Building
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1393
United States

HOME PAGE: http://aae.wisc.edu/lschechter

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