Center of Mexican American Studies
Center of Mexican American Studies

CMAS Faculty Affiliate Dr. Kenneth Greene receives prize for best paper

Fri, June 30, 2017
CMAS Faculty Affiliate Dr. Kenneth Greene receives prize for best paper
CMAS Faculty Affiliate Dr. Kenneth Greene

CMAS Faculty Affiliate, Kenneth Greene's paper, “Why Vote Buying Fails: Campaign Effects and the Elusive Swing Voter” won the 2017 Frank L. Burdette / Pi Sigma Alpha prize for the best paper presented at last year’s American Political Science Association Annual Meeting. Congratulations to Dr. Greene for this great achievement!

The abstract for his paper is below.

Does vote buying work? Research in various social science disciplines argues or implies that political machines expertly turn clients into citizens, undermining core aspects of democracy. In contrast, I argue that partisan campaigns in competitive democracy can undermine vote buying. Machines face a targeting problem: Local brokers identify good clients but then campaigns shift many citizens’ non-clientelist attitudes in ways that brokers cannot detect. Targeting errors cumulate to make vote buying inefficient, possibly to the point of failure. I measure vote-buying attempts with a list experiment embedded in the Mexico 2012 Panel Study and test my argument with a new, purpose-designed statistical methodology that uses individual-level probabilities of vote selling as an explanatory variable in a multivariate model of vote choice. The findings cast doubt on the burgeoning literature on vote buying and yield a more optimistic view of the quality of elections in new democracies.

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