Prejudice, Strategic Discrimination, and the Electoral Connection: Evidence from a Pair of Field Experiments in Brazil

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Can electoral incentives mitigate racial and class prejudices toward underrepresented groups? We use a pair of large-scale field experiments to investigate the responsiveness of Brazilian legislative candidates to information requests from fictitious voters before and after the 2010 elections. Our panel study design allows us to examine how politicians' electoral incentives and prejudices jointly affect their responsiveness to voters with randomly assigned socioeconomic and partisan characteristics. Distinguishing between prejudiced and strategic discrimination in responsiveness, we find that socioeconomically privileged and competitive candidates are equally responsive to underrepresented voters in advance of the election, yet less responsive once in office.



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American Journal Of Political Science. Hoboken: Wiley, v. 62, n. 4, p. 781-795, 2018.