Nice guys get their votes bought

vote-buying is sustained, in part, by individuals’ feelings of intrinsic reciprocity. Voters who are offered money or material goods in exchange for their votes reciprocate because they experience pleasure in increasing the material payoffs of the politician who has helped them.

…In Paraguay, politicians hire respected community leaders in each village to interact with voters in order to promote their candidacy and offer them money and other forms of aid in exchange for the promise of their vote.

…we conduct a survey with the actual middlemen who broker the vote-buying exchanges between voters and politicians. We find that middlemen are much more likely to target reciprocal individuals. A one standard deviation increase in reciprocity increases the likelihood of experiencing vote-buying by 44 percent.

A new paper by Fred Finan and Laura Schechter.