Can informed public deliberation overcome clientelism? Experimental evidence from Benin

Thomas Fujiwara, Leonard Wantchekon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper studies the electoral effects of town hall meetings based on programmatic, nonclientelist platforms. The experiment involves the cooperation of leading candidates in a presidential election in Benin. A campaign strategy based solely on these meetings was assigned to randomly selected villages and compared to the standard strategy of clientelist rallies. We find that treatment reduces the prevalence of clientelism and does not affect turnout. Treatment also lowers the vote shares for the candidate with a political stronghold in the village and is more effective in garnering votes in regions where a candidate does not have a political stronghold.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-255
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Economic Journal: Applied Economics
Volume5
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)

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