top of page

"Press 1 for Roads": Improving Political Communication with New Technology

Co-authored with Saad Gulzar and Luke Sonnet

We provide new data to show that in Pakistan, existing communication between voters and politicians is not as elite-skewed as assumed. A field experiment tests improving communication with Interactive Voice Response (IVR) technology that allows politicians to script questions for voters and voters to respond on cell phones. IVR changes the initiator, scope, content, scale, personalism, and frequency of communication. Politicians and voters both exhibit eagerness to engage. However, our data show that in less developed settings, politicians require more than information about voter preferences to become more responsive.

Download PDF • 1.29MB

bottom of page