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Who gets targeted for vote-buying? Evidence from an augmented list experiment in Turkey

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 December 2014

Alı Çarkoğlu
Professor, Department of International Relations, Koç University, Istanbul, Turkey
S. Erdem Aytaç*
Assistant Professor, Department of International Relations, Koç University, Istanbul, Turkey


Understanding the dynamics of vote-buying is essential for improving accountability in elections in developing democracies. While list experiments are useful for attenuating social desirability bias associated with measuring vote-buying, they are not conducive to multivariate analyses, and the question of what types of individuals are targeted is left inadequately explored. We overcome this limitation by combining a population-based list experiment with an estimator (LISTIT) that allows for multivariate analyses in an efficient manner. Our analysis suggests that in the 2011 parliamentary elections in Turkey over one-third of the electorate was targeted for vote-buying, which is more than double the proportion willing to admit when asked directly. Additionally, we find that strong partisans of the ruling Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi), less-educated individuals, and urban residents are significantly more likely to be targeted for vote-buying. We present compelling evidence for the hypotheses that parties target their core supporters and socio-economically vulnerable individuals. The strength of our evidence derives from the use of original data on vote-buying that has been collected in an unobtrusive manner and analyzed at the level of individuals.

Research Article
© European Consortium for Political Research 2014 

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