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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.

Leonard Wantchekon
Email:  Institution / Affiliation : Princeton University  EGAP member: Yes 

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

Email:    EGAP member: Yes 

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.


Brief 02: Local Accountability in Congo

The theory behind the Tuungane intervention is that training, coupled with exposure to and practice in accountable governance in the context of these projects, can produce learning-by-doing and bring about change in local accountability and social cohesion as well as improve the welfare of communities. This research project, mounted in partnership with IRC, sought to measure whether these objectives were met. In order to measure the causal effects of Tuungane, we use randomized intervention. The Tuungane communities were randomly selected through public lotteries from a larger pool of potential participating communities. This feature allows us to observe a set of “control” communities that are similar to the Tuungane communities in every respect except for the presence of the program. Also, among a sample of those selected, a randomly selected set of communities implemented a variation of the program in which community development committees were not required to have gender equality.