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Brief 16: Spillover Effects of Observers in Ghana

The authors designed and implemented a randomized field experiment to test two hypotheses: first, areas with observers should have smaller increases in registrations than areas without observers. Second, areas without observers located near observed areas should have larger increases in registrations than those that are far away from observed areas. Four of the ten regions in Ghana were selected, including Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Greater Accra, and Northern Regions (see map below), to cover a wide range of constituencies and incumbent and opposition strongholds.

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Brief 13: Reducing Clientelism in Benin

In his 2001 experiment, Wantchekon assigned 24 villages to receive one of two kinds of electoral campaigns: a ‘clientelistic’ campaign, with handouts of gifts and promises of material favors in exchange for votes; and a ‘programmatic’ campaign, in which candidates promised to implement broad policy programs that would benefit the nation as a whole. The researchers compared the share of votes obtained by candidates in the treated villages with their results in other villages in which they ran their election campaign as usual.

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Brief 11: Election Observers and Fraud in Ghana

The researchers partnered with CODEO and assigned 1,000 of CODEO’s 4,000 election monitors in a randomized saturation experimental design.  The researchers randomly assigned constituencies to receive observers at 30%, 50%, or 80% of their polling stations, and then randomly assigned the observers to the individual polling stations within the constituencies.  This process – randomly assigning both the observers and the saturation rate – allows them to measure two types of effects: 1) whether fraud decreases at the observed polling places compared with control l

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Brief 09: Electoral Responses to Corruption Revelations

This study relies on the timing of the audits relative to the October 2004 municipal elections. The treatment group consists of the 205 municipalities that were audited before the election and the control group consists of the 168 villages that were audited between October 2004 and July 2005. The treatment is therefore the exposure of corruption (or lack thereof) within municipal governments before the election.

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Brief 07: Do Party Politics Undermine Ethnic Quotas?

This study employs two different research designs to test the impact of ethnic quotas. First, the researchers take advantage of a peculiarity in the quota system, which creates a so-called “natural experiment.” Villages take turns reserving seats for disadvantaged castes, and during each election cycle certain pairs of villages have a nearly random chance of being selected or not for quotas. While this “natural experiment” is not a true field experiment, the researchers present evidence that this technique comes close to an experimental randomization.

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Brief 06: Voter Benchmarks in Developing Countries

The sample is 95 rural communes, each consisting of approximately 18 villages averaging 1000 inhabitants each (though only 6 villages were randomly selected into the sample). Of the communes, 31 were randomly assigned to the control group, 32 to the first treatment group, and 32 to a second treatment group. There were 370 treated villages in total. The first treatment group was given two civics courses that taught participants about local governments’ responsibilities in providing public goods.

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Brief 03: Democratic Governance in Afghanistan

An experimental design was used in which the NSP program was partially extended to ten non-NSP districts in 2007; in each of these, 50 villages were selected and then randomly assigned to take part in NSP or not. Selected villages were grouped into matched pairs based on background characteristics and a requirement that they not be within 1km of each other; one unit in each pair was then randomly assigned to treatment.

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Brief 01: Female Voting Behavior in Pakistan

For this study an informational campaign was delivered to women in a sample of villages two weeks prior to the 2008 national election in Pakistan with randomization at the level of within-village geographical clusters.

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