Ulric B. and Evelyn L. Bray Social Sciences Seminar
Abstract: Can voters in clientelist countries be swayed by programmatic campaign promises? We combine a structural model and a large-scale field experiment disseminating candidate policy platforms in Philippine mayoral elections to show how voters respond to campaign promises. Voters who randomly received information about current campaign promises are more likely to vote for candidates closer to their own preferences; those also informed about past promises reward incumbents who fulfilled them. The structural model shows that information about campaign promises affects both the salience of policies and voter beliefs about candidate quality and policy platforms.