NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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John Marshall

Columbia University
Department of Political Science
420 West 118th Street
International Affairs Building, Room 705
New York, NY 10027

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Institutional Affiliation: Columbia University

NBER Working Papers and Publications

August 2018Priors rule: When do Malfeasance Revelations Help or Hurt Incumbent Parties?
with Eric Arias, Horacio Larreguy, Pablo Querubín: w24888
Effective policy-making requires that voters avoid electing malfeasant politicians. However, as our simple learning model emphasizing voters’ prior beliefs and updating highlights, informing voters of incumbent malfeasance may not entail sanctioning. Specifically, electoral punishment of incumbents revealed to be malfeasant is rare where voters already believed them to be malfeasant, while information’s effect on turnout is non-linear in the magnitude of revealed malfeasance. These Bayesian predictions are supported by a field experiment informing Mexican voters about malfeasant mayoral spending before municipal elections. Given voters’ low expectations and initial uncertainty, as well as politician responses, relatively severe malfeasance revelations increased incumbent vote share on ave...
December 2016Leveling the Playing Field: How Campaign Advertising Can Help Non-Dominant Parties
with Horacio A. Larreguy, James M. Snyder, Jr.: w22949
Voters are often uncertain about and biased against non-dominant political parties. By reducing the information gap with dominant parties, political advertising may thus disproportionately benefit non-dominant parties electorally. We test this argument in Mexico, where three main parties dominate many localities. To identify the effects of exposure to partisan advertising, we exploit differences across neighboring precincts in campaign ad distributions arising from cross-state media coverage spillovers induced by a 2007 reform that equalized access to ad slots across all broadcast media. Our results show that ads on AM radio increase the vote shares of the PAN and PRD, but not the previously-hegemonic PRI. Consistent with our model, campaign advertising is most effective in poorly informed...

Published: Horacio A Larreguy & John Marshall & James M Snyder, 2018. "Leveling the playing field: How campaign advertising can help non-dominant parties," Journal of the European Economic Association, vol 16(6), pages 1812-1849.

 
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