When Does Information Influence Voters? The Joint Importance of Salience and Coordination

Published on 2019-10-17T12:09:44Z (GMT) by
<div><p>Scholars argue that access to information about a politician’s programmatic performance helps voters reward good performers and punish poor ones. But in places where resources are made conditional on collective electoral behavior, voters may not want to defect to vote for a strong legislative performer if they do not believe that others will. We argue that two conditions must hold for information about politician performance to affect voter behavior: Voters must care about the information <i>and</i> believe that others in their constituency care as well. In a field experiment around legislative elections in Benin, voters rewarded good programmatic performance only when information was both made relevant to voters <i>and</i> widely disseminated within the electoral district. Otherwise, access to positive legislative performance information actually lowered vote share for the incumbent’s party. These results demonstrate the joint importance of Salience and voter coordination in shaping information’s impact in clientelistic democracies.</p></div>

Cite this collection

Adida, Claire; Gottlieb, Jessica; Kramon, Eric; McClendon, Gwyneth (2019): When Does Information Influence Voters? The Joint Importance of Salience and Coordination. SAGE Journals. Collection. https://doi.org/10.25384/SAGE.c.4702025.v1