NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Publications by Leonard Wantchekon

Contact and additional information for this authorAll publicationsWorking Papers only

Working Papers and Chapters

December 2011Looking Beyond the Incumbent: The Effects of Exposing Corruption on Electoral Outcomes
with Alberto Chong, Ana L. De La O, Dean Karlan: w17679
Does information about rampant political corruption increase electoral participation and the support for challenger parties? Democratic theory assumes that offering more information to voters will enhance electoral accountability. However, if there is consistent evidence suggesting that voters punish corrupt incumbents, it is unclear whether this translates into increased support for challengers and higher political participation. We provide experimental evidence that information about copious corruption not only decreases incumbent support in local elections in Mexico, but also decreases voter turnout, challengers' votes, and erodes voters' identification with the party of the corrupt incumbent. Our results suggest that while flows of information are necessary, they may be insufficient to...
March 2009The Slave Trade and the Origins of Mistrust in Africa
with Nathan Nunn: w14783
We investigate the historical origins of mistrust within Africa. Combining contemporary household survey data with historic data on slave shipments, we show that individuals whose ancestors were heavily raided during the slave trade today exhibit less trust in neighbors, relatives, and their local government. We confirm that the relationship is causal by using the historic distance from the coast of a respondent's ancestors as an instrument for the intensity of the slave trade, while controlling for the individual's current distance from the coast. We undertake a number of falsification tests, all of which suggest that the necessary exclusion restriction is satisfied. Exploiting variation among individuals who live in locations different from their ancestors, we show that most of the impa...

Contact and additional information for this authorAll publicationsWorking Papers only

 
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