The Cost of Voting and the Cost of Votes

Mogens Kamp Justesen, Anders Woller, Jacob Gerner Hariri

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review

Abstract

In new democracies, political parties often use clientelist strategies to mobilize voters during elections, and such strategies are often targeted at particular groups, such as the poor or those with particular partisan affiliations. In this paper we show that political machines systematically target voters with low costs of voting. The study employs a geo-coded survey of more than 3.200 respondents in South Africa collected following the municipal elections of 2016. We combine the survey data with administrative data on the geographical location of more than 22.600 voting stations, and proxy the cost of voting with the voters’ distance to their respective voting station. Our identification strategy exploits the quasi-random generation of voting district boundaries in South Africa. The ’as-if’ random assignment of voting districts for respondents in close proximity to the border allows us to estimate the causal effect of the cost of voting on parties’ use of vote buying as an electoral strategy. We find that higher costs of voting lower the probability of being targeted with vote buying in the run-up to elections. This has potential implications for the core assumptions concerning parties’ targeting strategies, and for initiatives seeking to consolidate democracy in newly democratized countries.
In new democracies, political parties often use clientelist strategies to mobilize voters during elections, and such strategies are often targeted at particular groups, such as the poor or those with particular partisan affiliations. In this paper we show that political machines systematically target voters with low costs of voting. The study employs a geo-coded survey of more than 3.200 respondents in South Africa collected following the municipal elections of 2016. We combine the survey data with administrative data on the geographical location of more than 22.600 voting stations, and proxy the cost of voting with the voters’ distance to their respective voting station. Our identification strategy exploits the quasi-random generation of voting district boundaries in South Africa. The ’as-if’ random assignment of voting districts for respondents in close proximity to the border allows us to estimate the causal effect of the cost of voting on parties’ use of vote buying as an electoral strategy. We find that higher costs of voting lower the probability of being targeted with vote buying in the run-up to elections. This has potential implications for the core assumptions concerning parties’ targeting strategies, and for initiatives seeking to consolidate democracy in newly democratized countries.

Conference

ConferenceAmerican Political Science Association, APSA Annual Meeting 2018
Number114
CountryUnited States
CityBoston
Period30/08/201802/09/2018
Internet address

Bibliographical note

CBS Library does not have access to the material

Cite this

Justesen, M. K., Woller, A., & Hariri, J. G. (2018). The Cost of Voting and the Cost of Votes. Paper presented at American Political Science Association, APSA Annual Meeting 2018, Boston, United States.
Justesen, Mogens Kamp ; Woller, Anders ; Hariri, Jacob Gerner. / The Cost of Voting and the Cost of Votes. Paper presented at American Political Science Association, APSA Annual Meeting 2018, Boston, United States.46 p.
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Justesen, MK, Woller, A & Hariri, JG 2018, 'The Cost of Voting and the Cost of Votes' Paper presented at, Boston, United States, 30/08/2018 - 02/09/2018, .

The Cost of Voting and the Cost of Votes. / Justesen, Mogens Kamp; Woller, Anders; Hariri, Jacob Gerner.

2018. Paper presented at American Political Science Association, APSA Annual Meeting 2018, Boston, United States.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review

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T1 - The Cost of Voting and the Cost of Votes

AU - Justesen,Mogens Kamp

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AU - Hariri,Jacob Gerner

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N2 - In new democracies, political parties often use clientelist strategies to mobilize voters during elections, and such strategies are often targeted at particular groups, such as the poor or those with particular partisan affiliations. In this paper we show that political machines systematically target voters with low costs of voting. The study employs a geo-coded survey of more than 3.200 respondents in South Africa collected following the municipal elections of 2016. We combine the survey data with administrative data on the geographical location of more than 22.600 voting stations, and proxy the cost of voting with the voters’ distance to their respective voting station. Our identification strategy exploits the quasi-random generation of voting district boundaries in South Africa. The ’as-if’ random assignment of voting districts for respondents in close proximity to the border allows us to estimate the causal effect of the cost of voting on parties’ use of vote buying as an electoral strategy. We find that higher costs of voting lower the probability of being targeted with vote buying in the run-up to elections. This has potential implications for the core assumptions concerning parties’ targeting strategies, and for initiatives seeking to consolidate democracy in newly democratized countries.

AB - In new democracies, political parties often use clientelist strategies to mobilize voters during elections, and such strategies are often targeted at particular groups, such as the poor or those with particular partisan affiliations. In this paper we show that political machines systematically target voters with low costs of voting. The study employs a geo-coded survey of more than 3.200 respondents in South Africa collected following the municipal elections of 2016. We combine the survey data with administrative data on the geographical location of more than 22.600 voting stations, and proxy the cost of voting with the voters’ distance to their respective voting station. Our identification strategy exploits the quasi-random generation of voting district boundaries in South Africa. The ’as-if’ random assignment of voting districts for respondents in close proximity to the border allows us to estimate the causal effect of the cost of voting on parties’ use of vote buying as an electoral strategy. We find that higher costs of voting lower the probability of being targeted with vote buying in the run-up to elections. This has potential implications for the core assumptions concerning parties’ targeting strategies, and for initiatives seeking to consolidate democracy in newly democratized countries.

M3 - Paper

ER -

Justesen MK, Woller A, Hariri JG. The Cost of Voting and the Cost of Votes. 2018. Paper presented at American Political Science Association, APSA Annual Meeting 2018, Boston, United States.