Door-to-door canvassing in almost all neighborhoods in the capital city of Bamako.
To assign subjects at random to the treatment and control conditions, we needed a way to expose each subject to the appropriate stimulus. We catalogued the surnames associated with each treatment condition for more than 200 subject surname-ethnicity combinations. This allowed us to create a large matrix in which each row corresponds to a Malian last name that we could expect to encounter in the field and each column gives politicians’ surnames associated with the appropriate treatment or control condition.
A videotaped political speech (subjects were told it was made by a political independent who was considering launching a campaign for deputy in the National Assembly a political independent who was considering launching a campaign for deputy in the National Assembly). The content of speeches viewed by all subjects was identical. The experimental manipulation consisted of what subjects were told about the politician’s last name, which conveys information about both ethnic identity and cousinage ties in Mali.Our experimental design had six treatment and control conditions. In the four treatment conditions, the subject and the politician are, respectively, joking cousins from the same ethnic group (N = 136); noncousins from the same ethnic group (N = 122); joking cousins from different ethnic groups (N = 124); or noncousins from different ethnic groups (N = 152). We also added two additional control conditions to the experimental design. In the fifth condition, subjects were not provided with information about the politician’s last name, and thus received no information about their ethnic and cousinage ties to the politician (N = 132). Adding this fifth condition therefore allows us to estimate treatment effects relative to this baseline candidate evaluation. Finally, in the sixth condition, the politician had the same last name as the subject (N = 158).
Evaluation of political candidate
Thad Dunning, Lauren Harrison