Fukumoto and Horicuchi on electoral fraud in Japan

Here’s a new working paper on electoral fraud in Japan by Kentaro Fukumoto and Yusaku Horicuchi, “Making Outsiders’ Votes Count: Detecting Electoral Fraud through a Natural Experiment.”

Here’s the paper’s abstract:

In Japan, there is a popular belief that candidates and their supporters mobilize voters outside the district: they ask outsiders to bring their registered address to the district and to vote for the candidates, even though those “new” voters may continue to live at their original address. We call this under-investigated type of electoral fraud “pre-electoral residential registration” and detect it by taking advantage of a natural experimental setting in Japanese municipal elections. We argue that whether or not a municipal election was held in April 2003 can be regarded as a randomly assigned treatment. Using detailed municipality-month panel data, we then show that an increase in the new population just prior to April 2003 is significantly larger in treatment municipalities (with an election) than in control ones (without an election). The effects estimated by a difference-in-difference model are significant and decisive enough to change the electoral results.

And as an editorial note, this is part of a working paper archive called RPEAVT: “Research Papers on Election Administration and Voting Technology”. These papers are being archived to help disseminate original research on election administration and voting technology, at the RPEAVT Archive page. Anyone with questions about RPEAVT or with papers for potential archiving there, can contact the VTP.