Elite Field Experiments to Explore Candidates Accountability and Bias


In an ongoing project that goes back to my Ph.D. dissertation in economics (Bologna University 2006), I analyze candidates’ behavior during the electoral campaign in representative democracies. The original field experiment, inspired by Putnam observational study on the responsiveness of Italian region, sent emails to candidates in the elections, to study if candidates were more responsive to decided or undecided voters. The seminal paper on the 2006 Italian election was one of the first to apply an email experiment in political science.


Then I conducted in 2008 a replication in Brazil. The resulting paper was published in the Brazilian Political Science Review.“Investigating Elite Behavior Through Field Experiments: do candidates answer more to core or swing voters?”.  Joint with Prof. F. Guimarães, Brazilian Political Science Review, v7(1) 2013.


More recently in collaboration with Amanda Driscoll, Feliciano Guimaraes and Gabriel Cepaluni we adapted the design to explore gender and class discrimination in the 2010 Brazilian election. The resulting paper has been published in AJPS. Prejudice, Strategic Discrimination, and the Electoral Connection: Evidence from a Pair of Field Experiments in Brazil. American Journal of Political Science.