Event Exposure, Political Messages and Voting: Evidence from India

75 Pages Posted: 3 Nov 2021 Last revised: 10 Aug 2023

See all articles by Yatish Arya

Yatish Arya

University of Warwick, Faculty of Social Studies, Department of Economics, Students

Apurav Yash Bhatiya

University of Birmingham - Department of Economics

Date Written: August 09, 2023

Abstract

Is exposure to events changing voting behavior, or those who switch their votes are endogenously more exposed to events? Moreover, what role do political messages play in translating events into votes? This paper examines these questions in the context of the 2019 national election in India. As events, we consider deadly attacks on Indian soldiers in armed conflicts. We exploit the exogeneity in the home constituency of the deceased soldiers to identify how exposure to soldier deaths affects voting behavior causally. Using a difference-in-differences identification strategy, we find that in the home constituency of the deceased soldiers, the incumbent party’s vote share increased by 4.2 pp. Text analysis of the incumbent PM Modi’s speeches reveals that only deaths referred by him affect public opinion. Our findings emphasize the role of politicians and media in amplifying events, indicating that event exposures translate into votes when emphasized by influential figures.

Keywords: Event Exposure, Conflict, Voting, Leaders, Media, Issue Salience, India

JEL Classification: D72, D74, D91, P16, N45

Suggested Citation

Arya, Yatish and Bhatiya, Apurav Yash, Event Exposure, Political Messages and Voting: Evidence from India (August 09, 2023). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3955198 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3955198

Yatish Arya (Contact Author)

University of Warwick, Faculty of Social Studies, Department of Economics, Students ( email )

834, AC04
Ashoka University
Sonipat, Haryana 131029
India

Apurav Yash Bhatiya

University of Birmingham - Department of Economics

Birmingham Business School
University of Birmingham
Birmingham, B15 2TT
United Kingdom

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