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Citizen Approval of Monetary- vs Goods-For-Votes Exchanges

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 April 2020

Mollie J. Cohen*
Affiliation:
Assistant professor, Department of International Affairs, University of Georgia, Athens, GA30602, USA, e-mail: mj.cohen@uga.edu, Twitter: @mollie_cohen

Abstract

Does citizen approval of vote buying depend on the type of benefit being offered? I answer this question using data from a survey experiment conducted on a nationally representative sample of Nicaraguans in 2017. Nicaraguans report significantly lower approval of money-for votes exchanges compared to goods-for-votes exchanges. Furthermore, reported rates of vote buying are lower in the money condition (4.8%) than in the goods-for-votes condition (7.8%), even though the posttreatment question assessing vote buying experience was identical across conditions. This study echoes other work suggesting the need for care in designing questions about vote buying, as slight changes in question wording that prime participants to think about goods versus monetary exchanges can affect both citizen approval of the behavior and the reported prevalence of vote buying.

Type
Short Report
Copyright
© The Experimental Research Section of the American Political Science Association 2020

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Footnotes

I thank Liz Zechmeister, Geoff Sheagley, and Ryan Powers for feedback on earlier versions of this manuscript and Mariana Rodriguez and the team at LAPOP for fieldwork support. The data, code, and additional materials required to replicate all analyses in this article are available in the Journal of Experimental Political Science Dataverse within the Harvard Dataverse Network, at https://doi.org/10.7910/DVN/XZOZGK. This study was funded by the Latin American Public Opinion Project and its major supporters (the United States Agency for International Development and Vanderbilt University). The author has no conflicts of interest to declare.

References

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