Research Seminars @ Illinois

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Tailored for undergraduate researchers, this calendar is a curated list of research seminars at the University of Illinois. Explore the diverse world of research and expand your knowledge through engaging sessions designed to inspire and enlighten.

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Speaker Laura Schechter - Brokering Votes with Information Spread Via Social Networks

Event Type
International Policy and Development Workshop (IPAD) joint with ACE
426 Mumford Hall
Mar 7, 2024   12:30 - 1:30 pm  
Dr. Laura Schechter, Professor in the Agricultural and Applied Economics department , University of Wisconsin, Madison
Originating Calendar
ACE Seminars

Title: Brokering Votes with Information Spread Via Social Networks

Abstract: Politicians rely on political brokers to buy votes throughout much of the developing world. We investigate how social networks facilitate these vote-buying exchanges. Our model suggests that brokers should be particularly well-placed within the network to learn about non-copartisans’ reciprocity in order to target transfers effectively. As a result, parties should recruit brokers who are central among non-copartisans. We combine village network data from brokers and citizens with broker reports of vote buying. We show that networks diffuse politically-relevant information about citizens to brokers who leverage it to target transfers. In particular, among those citizens who are not registered to their party, brokers target reciprocal citizens about whom they can learn more through their network. Moreover, recruited brokers are significantly more central than other citizens among non-copartisans, but not among copartisans. These results highlight the importance of information diffusion through social networks for vote buying, broker recruitment, and ultimately for political outcomes.

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