Together We Will: Experimental Evidence on Female Voting Behavior in Pakistan

Authored by: Xavier Giné, and Ghazala Mansuri

Categories: Statebuilding
Sub-Categories: Democratization and Political Participation
Country: Pakistan
Region: South and Central Asia
Year: 2018
Citation: Giné, Xavier, and Ghazala Mansuri. 2018. "Together We Will: Experimental Evidence on Female Voting Behavior in Pakistan." American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 10 (1): 207-35.

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In many emerging democracies women are less likely to vote than men and, when they do vote, are likely to follow the wishes of male household and clan heads. We assess the impact of a voter awareness campaign on female turnout, candidate choice and party vote shares. Geographic clusters within villages were randomly assigned to treatment or control, and within treated clusters, some households were not targeted. Compared to women in control clusters, both targeted and untargeted women in treated clusters are 11 percentage points more likely to vote, and are also more likely to exercise independence in candidate choice, indicating large spillovers. Data from polling stations suggests that treating 10 women increased female turnout by about seven votes, resulting in a cost per vote of US$3.1. Finally, a 10 percent increase in the share of treated women at the polling station led to a 7 percent decrease in the share of votes of the winning party.