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date: 15 August 2020

Experimental Research in African Politics 

The Oxford Encyclopedia of African Politics
George Kwaku OfosuGeorge Kwaku Ofosu

Political scientists are increasingly using randomized experiments to study African politics. Since 2003, scholars have adopted experimental methods to overcome two main research challenges. First, the methods are used to mitigate concerns related to social desirability bias in the measurement of the prevalence and effects of sensitive topics like ethnic bias, clientelism, vote buying, corruption, election fraud, and violence. Second, experimental methods are used to overcome concerns about selection bias in estimating the effects of policies believed to enhance the quality of democracy in Africa’s multiparty regimes. Experiments have helped scholars to determine which policies are effective in promoting democratic quality—as well as when and why.... ...

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