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Does Ethnic Solidarity Facilitate Electoral Support for Nation-Building Policies?: Evidence from a
 

Summary: Does Ethnic Solidarity Facilitate Electoral Support
for Nation-Building Policies?: Evidence from a
Political Experiment
YVES F. ATCHADE
AND LEONARD WANTCHEKON
September 18, 2007
Abstract
Would voters support or reject a co-ethnic candidate if she were to adopt a platform that
appeals equally to all ethnic groups? We address this counterfactual question using experimental
data collected in the context of the 2001 elections in Benin. A hierarchical probit model with a
structural equation is used to analyze the data. We adopt a Bayesian approach together with
Markov Chain Monte Carlo to handle the computations. We nd that ethnic ties strengthen
electoral support for national public goods platforms. The eect is stronger among those who are
culturally less distant from most other voters; that is, those who speak several languages, watch
TV regularly, and travel frequently. We argue that the positive eect of ethnic ties would have
remained, even if the experiment has taken place in more urban and ethnically diverse districts.
We conclude that ethnic solidarity can help secure electoral support for nation-building policies
as long as such policies are adopted by political leaders.
Key words: Causal inference, Intent-to-treat, Noncompliance, Randomized experiments
JEL Classication: C14, C21, C52

  

Source: Atchadé, Yves F. - Department of Statistics, University of Michigan

 

Collections: Mathematics