The researchers tested whether a newspaper initiative about legislative candidates would increase informed voting. In the run-up to elections, residents received
free newspapers containing information on the performance of incumbent legislators and the qualifications of candidates. Comparison of the treatment and control slums indicated that the newspaper initiative increased turnout, as well as the vote share for better performing and more qualified candidates.
In short, the evidence shows that a newspaper initiative targeting poor voters induced changes in electoral behaviour that are thought to improve legislative accountability.
Authors: Abhijit Banerjee, Selvan Kumar, Rohini Pande, Felix Su