Making policies matter: Voter responses to campaign promises

Julien Labonne (Oxford University)

March 4, 2021, 11:00–12:30


Do campaign promises matter? 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 and those also informed about past promises reward incumbents who fulfilled them. The structural model shows that campaigns operate through both learning and psychological mechanisms, and that vote buying, while important, is not the sole driver of voter behavior. (joint with C. Cruz, P. Keefer and F. Trebbi).


Julien Labonne (Oxford University), Making policies matter: Voter responses to campaign promises, Behavior, Institutions, and Development seminar, March 4, 2021, 11:00–12:30.