NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
loading...

Voter Mobilization and Trust in Electoral Institutions: Evidence from Kenya

Benjamin Marx, Vincent Pons, Tavneet Suri

NBER Working Paper No. 23946
Issued in October 2017, Revised in September 2020
NBER Program(s):Development Economics

In a large-scale randomized experiment implemented with Kenya’s Electoral Commission in 2013, text messages intended to mobilize voters boosted electoral participation. However, the messages also decreased trust in electoral institutions after the election. This decrease was stronger for individuals on the losing side of the election and in areas that experienced election-related violence. We hypothesize that the mobilization campaign backfired because the Electoral Commission promised a transparent and orderly electoral process but failed to deliver on these expectations. Several potential mechanisms account for the intervention’s unexpected effects, including a simple model where signaling capacity via mobilization messages can negatively affect beliefs about the fairness of the election.

download in pdf format
   (995 K)

email paper

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w23946

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these:
Muralidharan, Niehaus, and Sukhtankar w23838 General Equilibrium Effects of (Improving) Public Employment Programs: Experimental Evidence from India
Acevedo, Cruces, Gertler, and Martinez w23264 Living Up to Expectations: How Job Training Made Women Better Off and Men Worse Off
Treisman w23944 Democracy by mistake
Bursztyn, Cantoni, Funk, Schönenberger, and Yuchtman w23490 Identifying the Effect of Election Closeness on Voter Turnout: Evidence from Swiss Referenda
Solon, Haider, and Wooldridge w18859 What Are We Weighting For?
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Themes
Data
People
About

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us