Deterring or Displacing Electoral Irregularities? Spillover Effects of Observers in a Randomized Field Experiment in Ghana

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Deterring or Displacing Electoral Irregularities? Spillover Effects of Observers in a Randomized Field Experiment in Ghana

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Title: Deterring or Displacing Electoral Irregularities? Spillover Effects of Observers in a Randomized Field Experiment in Ghana
Author: Ichino, Nahomi; Schündeln, Matthias

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Citation: Ichino, Nahomi, and Matthias Schündeln. 2012. Deterring or displacing electoral irregularities? Spillover effects of observers in a randomized field experiment in Ghana. Journal of Politics 74(1): 292-307.
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Abstract: This article studies the effect of domestic observers deployed to reduce irregularities in voter registration in a new democracy, and in particular, the response of political parties’ agents to these observers. Because political parties operate over large areas and party agents may relocate away from observed registration centers, observers may displace rather than deter irregularities. We design and implement a large-scale two-level randomized field experiment in Ghana in 2008 taking into account these spillovers and find evidence for substantial irregularities: the registration increase is smaller in constituencies with observers; within these constituencies with observers, the increase is about one-sixth smaller on average in electoral areas with observers than in those without; but some of the deterred registrations appear to be displaced to nearby electoral areas. The finding of positive spillovers has implications for the measurement of electoral irregularities or analysis of data collected by observers.
Published Version: doi:10.1017/S0022381611001368
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Other Posted Material, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#LAA
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:9282597

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  • FAS Scholarly Articles [7374]
    Peer reviewed scholarly articles from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences of Harvard University
 
 

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