Working Papers

Abstract: During the 2014 Indian general elections, we carried out a large-scale randomized radio experiment to study how voters respond to information about the economic consequences of electing politicians who distribute "gifts." By strategically timing the broadcasts after the prescribed electioneering period but before voters went to the polls, we are able to estimate the effects from persuading voters. Using official electoral data, we .find that the radio campaign decreased the vote share of parties that engaged in vote buying (as reported by journalists) by 4 to 7 percentage points (depending on speci.cation). Using voter survey data, we .nd that the campaign increased the salience of government corruption as an election issue and induced voters to disfavor parties that offered gifts. We .nd no evidence of changes in party campaigning as a result of our ads.

Works in Progress

Mass Communication and Technology Adoption During India's Green Revolution: Evidence from a Natural Experiment

Cable TV and Women's Welfare: Evidence from Rural India