Presentation Title
Testing Legislator Responsiveness to Citizens and Firms in Single-Party Regimes: A Field Experiment in the Vietnamese National Assembly
Department of Political Science, Duke University
Start Date
Start Time
End Time
Gibson 296

Our project aims to establish whether targeted provision of constituents’ preferences increases the responsiveness of delegates to the Vietnamese National Assembly (VNA). Utilizing a randomized control trial (RCT), we assign legislators to one of three groups: (1) those briefed on the opinions of their provincial citizenry; (2) those presented with the preferences of local firms; and (3) those receiving no informational treatment what- soever. We also used a saturation design, applying the treatments to differing shares of delegates across provinces. After the summer 2018 session, we collected behavioral data on delegates from the legislative session, including answers to a VNA Library survey about debate preparation; the identity of speakers in group caucuses, query sessions, and floor debates; and the textual content of those speeches. We find consistent evi- dence that citizen-treated delegates were more responsive, via debate preparation and the decision to speak; evidence from speech content is more mixed. More speculatively, we find little evidence of spillover from treated to untreated delegates, but substantial evidence of treatment reinforcement. Citizen-treated delegates grew more responsive as more of their peers possessed identical information.