Online Political Information, Electoral Saturation, and Electoral Accountability in Mexico

92 Pages Posted: 4 Aug 2021

See all articles by José Ramón Enríquez

José Ramón Enríquez

Harvard University

Horacio Larreguy

Harvard University

John Marshall

Columbia University - Department of Political Science

Alberto Simpser

ITAM

Date Written: July 1, 2021

Abstract

While digital platforms have facilitated protests and challenged democratic norms, mass online campaigns could also enhance electoral accountability. We evaluate the electoral impact of non-partisan Facebook ads informing millions of Mexican citizens of municipal expenditure irregularities in 2018. Vote shares of the least malfeasant incumbent parties increased by 6-7 percentage points in directly targeted electoral precincts. This effect was greater where ads targeted 80%---rather than 20%---of the broader municipal electorate. These substantial impacts of high saturation social media campaigns reflect interactions between citizens that spill through social networks, including to untargeted precincts, rather than responses by politicians or media outlets.

Keywords: Accountability, corruption, social spillovers, saturation, media campaigns

JEL Classification: H41, H50, H76, H83, I38

Suggested Citation

Enríquez, José Ramón and Larreguy, Horacio and Marshall, John and Simpser, Alberto, Online Political Information, Electoral Saturation, and Electoral Accountability in Mexico (July 1, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3897408 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3897408

José Ramón Enríquez

Harvard University ( email )

Cambridge, MA
United States

Horacio Larreguy

Harvard University ( email )

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

John Marshall

Columbia University - Department of Political Science ( email )

7th Floor, International Affairs Bldg.
420 W. 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
United States

Alberto Simpser (Contact Author)

ITAM ( email )

Rio Hondo 1
Mexico City, CDMX 01080
Mexico
+525556284000 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.albertosimpser.com

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