I use field experiments, survey experiments, and quantitative text analysis to understand democratic erosion and democratic consolidation, with a regional focus on Southeast Asia and South Asia. My dissertation concerns (i) the dynamic relationship between political participation and accountability, as well as (ii) determinants that safeguard democracy in the age of electoral authoritarianism.
How Voters Perceive Democratic Backsliding in Developing Democracies [pre-analysis; preprint; online appendix]
How do ordinary citizens perceive various instances related to democratic backsliding? We propose a methodology to measure democratic backsliding at the micro-level. Through a conjoint experiment and automated text analysis, we investigate how citizens in a developing democracy define democratic backsliding, as well as the situations under which people might or might not tolerate instances of democratic backsliding. The paper sheds light on the mechanisms of democratic backsliding from the demand side.
Curbing Clientelism in Local Elections: Evidence from the Philippines (w/ Nico Ravanilla and Ron Mendoza) [pre-analysis; preprint; online appendix]
We propose a supply-side argument to understand vote buying in the context of Philippine local elections. Leveraging data from a field experiment during the 2019 Philippine local elections, we find that only about 8\% of the local candidates were willing to tie their hands and run for a clean election without buying votes. We discuss the implications for future work that attempts to curb vote buying in an environment with entrenched clientelism.