Testing legislator responsiveness to citizens and firms in single-party regimes: A field experiment in the vietnamese national assembly

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2021-10-01

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Abstract

We investigate whether communicating constituents’ preferences to legislators increases the responsiveness of delegates to the Vietnamese National Assembly (VNA). Using a randomized control trial, we assign legislators to three groups: (1) those briefed on the opinions of their provincial citizenry, (2) those presented with the preferences of local firms, and (3) those receiving only information on the Communist Party’s objectives. Because voting data are not public, we collect data on a range of other potentially responsive behaviors during the 2018 session. These include answers to a VNA Library survey about debate readiness; whether delegates spoke in group caucuses, query sessions, and floor debates; and the content of those speeches. We find consistent evidence that citizen-treated delegates were more responsive, via debate preparation and the decision to speak, than control delegates; evidence from speech content is mixed.

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10.1086/715169

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Todd, JD, EJ Malesky, A Tran and QA Le (2021). Testing legislator responsiveness to citizens and firms in single-party regimes: A field experiment in the vietnamese national assembly. Journal of Politics, 83(4). pp. 1573–1588. 10.1086/715169 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/25961.

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Scholars@Duke

Todd

Jason Douglas Todd

Assistant Professor of Political Science at Duke Kunshan University

I am an Assistant Professor at Duke Kunshan University, where I teach political science and public policy. I received my Ph.D. in Political Science from Duke University in 2020.

My research spans the fields of American and comparative politics to examine how political institutions shape the law, whether that be through the legislators who make it or the judges who interpret it. This work considers a broad array of topics, including legal citation networks, polarization in judicial opinions, judicial confirmations, congressional and state legislative committees, and responsiveness in authoritarian legislatures. I am also engaged in a book project concerning the U.S. Supreme Court and its role atop the federal judicial hierarchy, which I approach through the lens of the Court’s case selection process. Throughout this work, I employ a broad array of methodological approaches, including text-as-data, networks, simulation studies, field experiments, and archival work.

Malesky

Edmund Malesky

Professor of Political Science

Malesky is a specialist on Southeast Asia, particularly Vietnam. Currently, Malesky's research agenda is very much at the intersection of Comparative and International Political Economy, falling into three major categories: 1) Authoritarian political institutions and their consequences; 2) The political influence of foreign direct investment and multinational corporations; and 3) Political institutions, private business development, and formalization.


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