Institute for Economic and Social Research

Seminar | Laura Schechter, University of Wisconsin-Madison


Title:   Brokering votes with information spread via social networks


SpeakerLaura SchechterUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison


TimeMay 9 (Mon.), 9:00 -10:30 am (Beijing Time)


On Zoom, scan the QR code for registration.


About the Speaker:

Laura Schechter is the Olav F. and Elsie de Noyer Anderson-Bascom Professor at UW Madison's Agricultural and Applied Economics. She received her PhD from UC Berkeley in 2005, and is a J-PAL and BREAD affiliate. Laura is currently co-editor at Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, and associate editor at the Economic Journal. She is a development economist, whose research lies at the intersection of development economics and behavioral economics. Most of her work uses experiments to help understand behavior in the context of trust and trustworthiness, and risk and vulnerability. She is especially interested in social networks in developing countries, and technology adoption.



In Latin America, politicians rely on political brokers to buy votes prior to elections. We investigate how social networks help facilitate vote-buying exchanges in rural Paraguay by combining village network data of brokers and voters with broker reports of vote buying. We show that networks diffuse politically-relevant information about voters to brokers who leverage it to target voters. In particular, we find that brokers target reciprocal voters who are not registered to their party and about whom they can hear more information through their social network. These results highlight the importance of information diffusion through social networks for vote buying and ultimately for political outcomes in Latin American.



Copyright © 2019 Institute for Economic and Social Research ICP record No.: Yue ICP Bei No. 12087612