December 2014

IZA DP No. 8691: Candidate Ballot Information and Election Outcomes: The Czech Case

published in: PostSoviet Affairs, 2015, 31 (5), 448-469

We measure the importance of candidate characteristics listed on ballots for a candidate's position on a slate, for preferential votes received by a candidate, and, ultimately, for getting elected. We focus on the effects of gender, various types of academic titles, and also several novel properties of candidates' names. Using data on over 200 thousand candidates competing in recent Czech municipal board and regional legislature elections, and conditioning on slate fixed effects, we find ballot cues to play a stronger role in small municipalities than in large cities and regions, despite the general agreement on higher candidate salience in small municipalities. We also quantify the election advantage of a slate being randomly listed first on a ballot.