Who monitors the monitor? Effect of party observers on electoral outcomes

Agustín Casas, Guillermo Díaz, André Trindade

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


We investigate whether electoral monitors, who are in charge of assuring the fairness of elections, interfere with their outcome. More precisely, does the monitors' presence bias the results in favor of their own preferences? To do so, we construct a novel dataset from the raw voting records of the 2011 national elections in Argentina. We exploit a natural experiment to show that electoral observers cause, on average, a 1.5% increase in the vote count for the observers' preferred party, which can reach up to 6% for some parties. This bias, which appears under various electoral rules, occurs mainly in municipalities with lower civic capital and weakens the accountability role of elections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-149
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Public Economics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Accountability
  • Electoral fraud
  • Quasi natural experiment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics


Dive into the research topics of 'Who monitors the monitor? Effect of party observers on electoral outcomes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this