Graduate School of Business
655 Knight Way
Stanford, CA 94305
Institutional Affiliation: Stanford University
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|January 2018||Value for Money? Community Targeting in Vote-Buying and Politician Accountability|
with Jessica Leight, Rohini Pande, Laura Ralston: w24194
Community targeting of vote payments — defined as the saturation of entire neighborhoods with cash prior to elections — is widespread in the developing world. In this paper, we utilize laboratory experiments conducted in the U.S. and Kenya to demonstrate that, relative to individual targeting, a vote-buying regime that distributes payments widely renders voters more tolerant of politician rent-seeking, and increases the level of politician rent-seeking observed in equilibrium. The most parsimonious model of preferences consistent with these patterns is a model in which both politicians and voters are characterized by multifaceted social preferences, encompassing reciprocity, altruism, and inequality aversion.