I use field experiments, survey experiments, and quantitative text analysis to understand democratic erosion and authoritarian consolidation, with a regional focus on Southeast and East Asia. My dissertation studies (i) the source of democratic attitudes in developing countries, as well as (ii) determinants that safeguard democracy in the age of electoral authoritarianism.

Working Papers

Curbing Clientelism in Local Elections: Evidence from the Philippines (w/ Nico Ravanilla and Ron Mendoza) [pre-analysis; preprint]

We measure the effect of an anti-vote buying intervention on vote buying incidents and electoral outcomes in the context of 2019 Philippine local elections. Through a field experiment with 1,541 party elites during the 2019 Philippine local elections, we find that the anti-vote buying intervention increases turnout and political competition, but has little effect on actual vote buying incidents. The anti-vote buying campaign increases stake of the election, which unintentionally increases runner-up candidates’ effort in mobilizing voters. As a result, we observe higher turnout, and more competition at the local level.

How Voters Perceive Democratic Backsliding in Developing Democracies

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 do not tolerate instances of democratic erosion. The paper sheds light on the mechanisms of how voters understand democracies erosion.

Preference Intensity of Chinese Citizens (w/ Yiqing Xu)