NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Nadya Hajj

Department of Political Science
Wellesley College
106 Central St.
Wellesley MA 02481

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: Wellesley College

NBER Working Papers and Publications

September 2016Voter Response to Peak and End Transfers: Evidence from a Conditional Cash Transfer Experiment
with Sebastian Galiani, Patrick J. McEwan, Pablo Ibarraran, Nandita Krishnaswamy: w22588
In a Honduran field experiment, sequences of cash transfers to poor households varied in amount of the largest (“peak”) and last (“end”) transfers. Larger peak-end transfers increased voter turnout and the incumbent party’s vote share in the 2013 presidential election, independently of cumulative transfers. A plausible explanation is that voters succumbed to a common cognitive bias by applying peak-end heuristics. Another is that voters deliberately used peak-end transfers to update beliefs about the incumbent party. In either case, the results provide experimental evidence on the classic non-experimental finding that voters are especially sensitive to recent economic activity.
 
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