Can television bring down a dictator? Evidence from Chile's “No” campaign

Felipe González, Mounu Prem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Can televised political advertising change voting behavior in elections held in authoritarian regimes? We study the case of Chile, where the opposition used television campaigns weeks before the election that ended the seventeen-year dictatorship known as the Pinochet regime. Using national surveys conducted before the election and administrative electoral data, we provide evidence of a positive effect of television exposure on opposition votes. When compared to similar estimates in democracies, the effect of campaigns in Chile appear large. These results suggest that televised political campaigns can help to defeat dictators at the polls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)349-361
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Comparative Economics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics


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