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Title A Survey Experiment on Voter Preferences and Receptiveness to Information in Rural Burkina Faso
Post date 08/27/2015
C1 Background and Explanation of Rationale

We carry out a survey experiment with voting-age citizens in 118 rural municipalities in Burkina Faso. The objective is to shed light on the effects of different forms of candidate differentiation on voter preferences and voter decidedness in the run-up to the transitional municipal elections in Burkina Faso. Survey respondents are asked about their preference between two imaginary mayoral candidates, who are characterized by eight randomly varied attributes, along which the two candidates may or may not differ. Furthermore, respondents are asked about the extent to which their preference might be altered by additional information about the candidates, and about the types of information that would have the greatest influence over their preference. The research design and experimental variations are described in greater detail in the pre-analysis plan.

C2 What are the hypotheses to be tested?

The survey experiment was designed to address two distinct sets of research questions. The first set of questions concerns the relationship between candidate differentiation and voters' receptiveness to information:
(1) Are there dimensions of candidate differentiation which will cause voters to ignore further information?
(2) What type of information will sway indifferent voters?
(3) What is the (observational) relationship between voter indifference and intent to vote?

The second set of questions focuses on the mechanisms by which local political support is sustained, specifically in the Burkinabe context.

In order to explain the local-level impact of the national-level political transition in Burkina Faso, it is crucial to understand whether voting in local-level elections is partisan or personalistic. We will therefore investigate the following additional questions:
(4) In the municipal elections, will voters turn away from local-level supporters of former president Blaise Compaore, even though many established local politicians were and continue to be affiliated with the CDP?
(5) Can local-level supporters of former president Blaise Compaore gain from switching parties?
(6) What dimensions of candidate differentiation can countervail an association with the previous regime?

C3 How will these hypotheses be tested? *

See pre-analysis plan.

C4 Country Burkina Faso
C5 Scale (# of Units) not provided by authors
C6 Was a power analysis conducted prior to data collection? No
C7 Has this research received Insitutional Review Board (IRB) or ethics committee approval? Exemption granted
C8 IRB Number not provided by authors
C9 Date of IRB Approval not provided by authors
C10 Will the intervention be implemented by the researcher or a third party? Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) Burkina Faso
C11 Did any of the research team receive remuneration from the implementing agency for taking part in this research? No
C12 If relevant, is there an advance agreement with the implementation group that all results can be published? Yes
C13 JEL Classification(s) not provided by authors