Is information power? Using mobile phones and free newspapers during an election in Mozambique

Jenny C. Aker, Paul Collier, Pedro C. Vicente

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)
15 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

African elections often reveal low levels of political accountability. We assess different forms of voter education during an election in Mozambique. Three interventions providing information to voters and calling for their participation were randomized: an information campaignusing SMS, an SMS hotline for electoral misconduct, and the distribution of a free newspaper. To measure impact, we look at official electoral results, reports by electoral observers, and behavioral and survey data. We find positive effects of all treatments on voter turnout.However, only the distribution of the free newspaper led to more accountability-based participation and to a decrease in electoral problems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-200
Number of pages16
JournalReview of Economics and Statistics
Volume99
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2017

Fingerprint

SMS
Mozambique
newspaper
election
responsibility
voter turnout
participation
voter
education
Mobile phone
Elections
Accountability
Participation
Vote
Africa
Survey data
Voter turnout
Voters
Education
Observer

Keywords

  • FIELD EXPERIMENT
  • VOTER TURNOUT
  • VOTING-BEHAVIOR
  • CLIENTELISM
  • PROVIDE
  • BENIN

Cite this

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abstract = "African elections often reveal low levels of political accountability. We assess different forms of voter education during an election in Mozambique. Three interventions providing information to voters and calling for their participation were randomized: an information campaignusing SMS, an SMS hotline for electoral misconduct, and the distribution of a free newspaper. To measure impact, we look at official electoral results, reports by electoral observers, and behavioral and survey data. We find positive effects of all treatments on voter turnout.However, only the distribution of the free newspaper led to more accountability-based participation and to a decrease in electoral problems.",
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Is information power? Using mobile phones and free newspapers during an election in Mozambique. / Aker, Jenny C.; Collier, Paul; Vicente, Pedro C.

In: Review of Economics and Statistics, Vol. 99, No. 2, 05.2017, p. 185-200.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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