Evo Morales and Electoral Fraud in Bolivia: A Natural Experiment and Discontinuity Evidence

33 Pages Posted: 12 Dec 2019 Last revised: 27 Oct 2020

See all articles by Diego Escobari

Diego Escobari

University of Texas - Pan American - College of Business Administration - Department of Economics & Finance; Texas A&M University - Department of Economics

Gary A. Hoover

University of Oklahoma

Date Written: October 15, 2020

Abstract

This paper uses a unique data set and a natural experiment based on the shutdown in the official preliminary vote counting system to identify and estimate the size of electoral fraud in the 2019 Bolivian presidential elections. The 2016 Constitutional Referendum and the participation of other political parties serve as controls to estimate various difference-in-differences and difference-in-difference-in-differences specifications. The results show evidence of a statistically significant electoral case of fraud that increased the votes of the incumbent Movimiento al Socialismo and decreased the votes of the runner up Comunidad Ciudadana. We estimate that the extent of the fraud is 2.50% of valid votes, sufficient to change the outcome of the election. We report a break in trend and evidence of fraud beyond the shutdown. Our results are robust to polling-station-level shocks common across 2019 and 2016, as well as 2019 specific shocks. This controls for geography (e.g., rural vs. urban), unobserved voting preferences, voter's last names, and endogeneity in the arrival of the polling stations. We document a statistically significant discontinuous jump in the gap between the incumbent and the runner up during the shutdown.

Keywords: Electoral Fraud, Natural Experiment, Bolivia, Evo Morales

JEL Classification: C21, D72, K42

Suggested Citation

Escobari, Diego and Hoover, Gary A., Evo Morales and Electoral Fraud in Bolivia: A Natural Experiment and Discontinuity Evidence (October 15, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3492928 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3492928

Diego Escobari (Contact Author)

University of Texas - Pan American - College of Business Administration - Department of Economics & Finance ( email )

1201 W. University Drive
Edinburg, TX 78539-2999
United States

HOME PAGE: http://faculty.utrgv.edu/diego.escobari

Texas A&M University - Department of Economics ( email )

5201 University Blvd.
College Station, TX 77843-4228
United States

Gary A. Hoover

University of Oklahoma ( email )

308 Cate Center Drive
Room 170
Norman, OK 73072-2103
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/garyhoovereconomics/economics-622

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

Paper statistics

Downloads
143
Abstract Views
816
rank
242,821
PlumX Metrics