Does corruption information inspire the fight or quash the hope? A field experiment in Mexico on voter turnout, choice, and party identification

Alberto Chong, Ana L. De La O, Dean Karlan, Leonard Wantchekon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

233 Scopus citations

Abstract

Retrospective voting models assume that offering more information to voters about their incumbents' performance strengthens electoral accountability. However, it is unclear whether incumbent corruption information translates into higher political participation and increased support for challengers. We provide experimental evidence that such information not only decreases incumbent party support in local elections in Mexico, but also decreases voter turnout and support for the challenger party, as well as erodes partisan attachments. While information clearly is necessary to improve accountability, corruption information is not sufficient because voters may respond to it by withdrawing from the political process. We conclude with a discussion of the implications of our findings for studies of voting behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-71
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Politics
Volume77
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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