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Do African Voters Favor Coethnics? Evidence from a Survey Experiment in Benin

  • Claire L. Adida (a1)

Can African politicians play the ethnic card? Ethnicity matters for a host of outcomes in Africa, but debate remains about the extent to which it motivates the African voter. In experimental settings, we know that ethnicity shapes political support for hypothetical candidates. This paper offers an experimental test of the extent to which ethnicity shapes political support for actual, real-world politicians. Relying on Benin’s mixed-ethnicity President, this paper proposes a survey experiment that measures the independent effect of coethnic cues in boosting support across both coethnic groups. The results reveal that coethnic cues work: the same political actor can draw support from two different ethnic groups based solely on subtle ethnic cues.

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Journal of Experimental Political Science
  • ISSN: 2052-2630
  • EISSN: 2052-2649
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