Experimental Research on Democracy and Development


Ana L. De La O, Leonard Wantchekon

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De La O, Ana L., Leonard Wantchekon (2011) "Experimental Research on Democracy and Development." In Cambridge Handbook of Experimental Political Science, ed. James N. Druckman, Donald P. Green, James H. Kuklinski, Arthur Lupia. New York: Cambridge University Press.
The past ten years have seen a sharp increase in the use of experimental research on democracy and development. Recent work covers a very wide range of topics such as formal institutions, women leadership, corruption, conditional cash transfer programmes and clientelist and programmatic politics, among others. This paper provides a survey of the substantive and methodological contributions of experimental research in the field and its challenges. The paper proposes directions for future research. Among other things, we suggest that (1) follow up experiments place special attention to the interaction of interventions with their context (2) test theoretical mechanisms underlying results from past experiments and (3) that more attention is paid to challenges to internal validity and ethical concerns.
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