Ana L. De La O
177 Prospect Street
New Haven, CT 06520
Institutional Affiliation: Yale University
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|December 2011||Looking Beyond the Incumbent: The Effects of Exposing Corruption on Electoral Outcomes|
with Alberto Chong, Dean Karlan, Leonard Wantchekon: 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...