November 2021

IZA DP No. 14856: Careful What You Say: The Effect of Manipulative Information on the 2013 Czech Presidential Run-off Election

published in: Economic Letters, 2021, 209, 110152

We exploit a quasi-natural experiment that emerged during the Czech presidential run-off election to identify the impact of inaccurate and misleading information on electoral outcomes. A political campaign associated a vote for one of the candidates with a legally and politically unfounded risk relevant to people owning houses confiscated from ethnic Germans after the Second World War. Using municipalitylevel data in a difference-in-differences framework, our analysis suggests that the manipulative campaign affected the electoral outcomes and increased voter turnout in municipalities with a higher share of voters at risk of the unproven threat to housing ownership.