Urbanization Patterns, Information Diffusion, and Female Voting in Rural Paraguay

Authors: Alberto Chong, Gianmarco León-Ciliotta, Vivian Roza, Martín Valdivia and Gabriela Vega

American Journal of Political Science, Vol. 63, No 2, 323-341, April, 2019

We use a field experiment to evaluate the impact of two informational get‐out‐the‐vote campaigns to boost female electoral participation in rural areas of Paraguay. We find that public rallies had a small and insignificant effect either on registration or voter turnout in the 2013 presidential elections. Households that received door‐to‐door canvassing treatment were 4.6 percentage points more likely to vote. Experimental variation on the intensity of the treatment at the locality level allows us to estimate spillover effects, which are present in localities that are geographically more concentrated, which may favor social interactions and diffusion of information. Reinforcement effects on the already treated population are twice as large as diffusion effects on the untreated. Our results underscore the importance of taking into account urbanization patterns when designing informational campaigns.

This paper originally appeared as Barcelona School of Economics Working Paper 1004