Working Papers

The Effects of Exposure to Electoral Advertising: Evidence from Spain

I measure the effects of street-level political advertising on voting behavior. I use a novel dataset on ad location in a major Spanish city during elections for the national parliament as well as granular socio-economic and voting data. This set-up, where more than two parties are running for office and elections are very competitive, allows me to explore the heterogeneous effects of ads across parties as well as how parties’ ads affect other parties’ vote shares. To identify the effects of parties’ ads, I exploit a legally mandated randomized assignment of ad location to parties across multiple years. I find that a party’s own ads have a positive effect on its vote share, although the effects are heterogeneous across parties. A one standard deviation increase in the number of ads increases a party’s vote share by 0.87 percentage points on average. Ads of parties with ideologically distant platforms consistently have a negative effect on a party’s vote share. In contrast, ads of parties that are close competitors may act either as complements or substitutes in different years.

Best Applied Paper by a Young Researcher, Econometric Society – European Meeting 2023

Better the Devil You Don’t Know? Economic Shocks, New Party Emergence, and Changes in Voting Behavior

This paper analyses the effects of an economic shock on the emergence of new parties and other changes in voting parties by using regional variation in the exposure to the shock. I find that a worsening of economic conditions as measured by unemployment rate leads to an increase in electoral competition and volatility. In particular, the deeper the effects of the recession in a area, the larger the number of new parties emerge and become more successful and there is an increase in the changes in vote shares. On the other hand, the vote share of parties previously in government decreases and a decrease in vote share concentration.

The Effect of Incentives on Beliefs and Choices in Games: An Experiment

with Duarte Gonçalves

How and why do incentive levels affect strategic behavior? This paper examines an experiment designed to identify the causal effect of scaling up incentives on choices and beliefs in strategic settings by holding fixed opponents’ actions. In dominance-solvable games, higher incentives increase action sophistication and best-response rates and decrease mistake propensity. Beliefs tend to become more accurate with higher own incentives in simple games. However, opponents with higher incentive levels are harder to predict: while beliefs track opponents’ behavior when they have higher incentive levels, beliefs about opponents also become more biased. We provide evidence that incentives affect cognitive effort and that greater effort increases performance and predicts choice and belief sophistication. Overall, the data lends support to combining both payoff-dependent mistakes and costly reasoning.