Can ATMs Get Out the Vote? Evidence from a Nationwide Field Experiment

38 Pages Posted: 7 Oct 2019

See all articles by José Tavares

José Tavares

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Nova School of Business and Economics

José Tavares

Nova School of Business and Economics

Pedro C. Vicente

Nova School of Business and Economics

Date Written: September 2019

Abstract

We report on a large-scale field experiment to assess ATMs (automatic teller machines) capacity to "get out the vote". This is a heretofore unexploited method. Our experimental design used the universe of functioning ATMs in Portugal. We randomly selected a set of treatment civil parishes, where a civic message took over the totality of ad time, which we compare with a set of control areas. The campaign we follow was active for three days before and during the 2017 local elections. Although we do not achieve statistical significance on a stable but small average treatment effect, when we consider the intensity of treatment, results show a statistically significant increase in the likelihood of voting. Placebo tests using turnout rates in previous elections strengthen our interpretation. We ran a post-treatment survey around ATMs located in two neighbouring civil parishes, one treated, the other not. We found a sizeable difference in recall.

Keywords: ATMs, Local Elections, Portugal, Voter mobilization

JEL Classification: C93, D72, H70

Suggested Citation

Tavares, José and Tavares, José and Vicente, Pedro C., Can ATMs Get Out the Vote? Evidence from a Nationwide Field Experiment (September 2019). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP13991, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3464518

José Tavares (Contact Author)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Nova School of Business and Economics ( email )

Campus de Carcavelos
Rua da Holanda, 1
Carcavelos, 2775-405
Portugal

José Tavares

Nova School of Business and Economics ( email )

Pedro C. Vicente

Nova School of Business and Economics ( email )

Campus de Carcavelos
Rua da Holanda, 1
Carcavelos, 2775-405
Portugal

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
0
Abstract Views
377
PlumX Metrics