Publications

• Who buys vote-buying? How, how much, and at what cost?, Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 193 (2022): 98-124.

In this paper, I estimate the causal effect of a local food-subsidy program on electoral outcomes. I exploit the variation in voters’ walking distances from the program stores to identify their accessibility to the program. I find that a distributive spending of ~5% of GDP per capita buys an additional vote for the incumbent. I then investigate who –based on partisanship– responds to the subsidy, and how much and how they respond. The findings indicate that all types of voters respond to the distributive spending in line with the reciprocity rule; however, they respond through different channels and in different magnitude. Importantly, the salient channel for opposition voters is abstention-buying, whereas incumbent supporters respond by an increased turnout.

Paper

Working Papers

• Leadership, Social Networks and Workplace Climate Through a Gender Lens (with Sule Alan, Gozde Corekcioglu, Matthias Sutter)

Using uniquely detailed data from over 2000 professionals in 23 large corporations, we show that the gender of leaders has a significant impact on the structure of social networks within firms. We document that female leaders do not possess male-like'' characteristics but rather preserve their female qualities that help them shape social interactions and workplace climate differently from male leaders. Homophilic professional ties among male workers characterize departments with male leadership. Female leadership breaks male homophily and eliminates the gender difference in homophilic professional and personal interactions. Under female leadership, both males and females establish more professional links with their female colleagues. Workplace climate is healthier when workers establish professional and personal support links with their leaders, and female leaders are significantly more likely than male leaders to develop such links with their female subordinates. However, female employees depict a gloomy workplace climate when working under non-supportive female leaders. Our results highlight the importance of supportive leadership, and suggest that increasing female presence in corporate decision-making positions may be an effective way to improve organizational culture.

Draft available soon

• The Olympic Effect: Fact or fiction? (with Nicole Stoelinga) Under Review

Hosting the Olympic Games implies tremendous costs and uncertain profits, yet countries historically have been striving to host this mega event and bidding decisively. More recently though, countries are withdrawing their bids from the election procedure. This puzzling historical interest in hosting the games and the recent trend of withdrawals cast doubt on the existence of the so-called Olympic effect: the positive impact of the Olympics on international trade. In this paper, we estimate the Olympic effect on long-term exports using the synthetic control method. We show that the Olympic effect is more pronounced for countries that stand to gain from an international publicity. The results also present the novel insight that a substantial positive Olympic effect is only associated with earlier games.

Working Paper

• Class Voting and Economic Policy Preferences: A predictive modelling approach

It is widely assumed that class divisions in economic preferences have become increasingly blurred over time due to higher living standards. Nevertheless, the previous literature lacks a systematic method to quantify the extent of this blurring of class divisions -if it exists at all- and to track its evolution over time and across space. To this end, using predictive modeling, I first develop a new measure of class distinctiveness in economic preferences. I then estimate this new measure in 18 European countries for three points in time. After validating the newly developed measure, I test whether the class distinctiveness in economic preferences can explain the variation in the strength of class-based voting.

Working Paper

Work in Progress

• Reputation Signalling and Exports in Contract-Intensive Industries (with Nicole Stoelinga)

Reputation plays a crucial role in business and trade. In this paper, we argue that contract-intensive industries are more likely to suffer from a reputation trap due to their heavy reliance on relationship-specific inputs that are otherwise not sold on exchange. We then argue that a way out of this trap is to have a third-party organization signalling reputation on behalf of them. We test the effectiveness of this strategy using the Olympics Games as an instrument to signal reputation and to increase the export levels of contract-intensive industries. We find that hosting the Olympics lead to ~20% increase in the exports of these industries compared to non-contract-intensive industries.
• Takeover of Local Governments, Public Procurement Performance, and Public Service Delivery (with Serkant Adiguzel and Murat Koyuncu)

We analyze how public procurement processes are affected when central governments take control of local governments. We use a novel data set on the universe of all state contracts from Turkey and a quasi-experimental setting where some elected mayors were replaced with government-appointed trustees by the central government. Using a regression discontinuity design, we specifically focus on how auction methods, procurement outcomes, and public service provision change due to these appointments. Our findings show that trustee mayors display a higher level of discretion by opting for less competitive auction methods than their elected counterparts. The increased level of discretion in turn translates into worse procurement outcomes in terms of rebate value, price, and cost of the contract. Furthermore, we document that trustee mayors decrease spending on critical public services such as health and education while distributing more contracts to make security-related purchases.
• Polarization of Anti- and Pro-Vaxxers: Evidence from a large-scale survey experiment in Turkey (with Murat Koyuncu, Sebastian Schneider and Matthias Sutter)

In this project, using a large-scale representative survey experiment in Turkey, we investigate the polarization between anti- and pro-vaxxers. We show that there exists a substantial amount of outgroup bias in each group against the other, and that this outgroup bias cannot be explained by the general groupy tendencies of the participants. Despite the outgroup bias displayed by each group, we show that the two groups are almost identical in their socio-economic and demographic characteristics, as well as, in their policy preferences in economic and cultural matters. What differs strikingly between these groups is the beliefs of each group about the other group. Each group believes that, although not accurate, the other group votes for a different party than their preferred one. These findings imply the politicized nature of the polarization between anti- and pro-vaxxers. Providing information on the economic and public health costs of the pandemic, or on an external threat that is supposed to foster solidarity, have limited effect on this polarization.
• Social Identity and Policy Preferences: Evidence from a large-scale survey experiment in the U.S. (Matthias Sutter)