Enfranchising Your Own? Experimental Evidence on Bureaucrat Diversity and Election Bias in India†

Enfranchising Your Own? Experimental Evidence on Bureaucrat Diversity and Election Bias in India† AbstractThis paper investigates the effects of polling station administrator diversity on elections in India, using a natural experiment: the random assignment of government officials to teams managing stations on election day, together with surveys conducted with voters and election officers. I demonstrate that changes in the religious and caste composition of officer teams impact voting at the polling station level, causing shifts in coalition vote shares large enough to influence election outcomes. Effects are strongest when officers have greater discretion over the voting process. I also provide evidence suggesting own-group favoritism by election personnel as one relevant mechanism. (JEL C93, D72, D73, J15, O17, Z12) http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Economic Review American Economic Association

Enfranchising Your Own? Experimental Evidence on Bureaucrat Diversity and Election Bias in India†

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Publisher
American Economic Association
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 © American Economic Association
ISSN
0002-8282
D.O.I.
10.1257/aer.20170404
Publisher site
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Abstract

AbstractThis paper investigates the effects of polling station administrator diversity on elections in India, using a natural experiment: the random assignment of government officials to teams managing stations on election day, together with surveys conducted with voters and election officers. I demonstrate that changes in the religious and caste composition of officer teams impact voting at the polling station level, causing shifts in coalition vote shares large enough to influence election outcomes. Effects are strongest when officers have greater discretion over the voting process. I also provide evidence suggesting own-group favoritism by election personnel as one relevant mechanism. (JEL C93, D72, D73, J15, O17, Z12)

Journal

American Economic ReviewAmerican Economic Association

Published: Jun 1, 2018

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