Contests & Conflict | 04/19/2023 | 05:00 PM
Fear to Vote: Explosions and Elections in Colombia

Speaker: Mouno Prem

Date & Time: Los Angeles (8 am), Cincinnati (11 am), Bath (4 pm), Munich (5 pm), Beijing (11 pm), Singapore (11 pm), Sydney (April 20, 1 am)

Mouno Prem will present the paper titled "Fear to Vote: Explosions and Elections in Colombia" (joint work with Juan F. Vargas, Miguel E. Purroy, Felipe Coy, and Sergio Perilla).

This talk is part of the Global Seminar on Contests & Conflict, an online seminar series with researchers from across the world. You can sign up to the Global Network to get information and invitations (including the Zoom Link for each event) about the Global Seminar hereMax-Planck-Institut für Steuerrecht und Öffentliche Finanzen: Global Seminar on Contests & Conflict (

You can directly access the event here:  


Abstract of the Paper:
Violence in conflict settings is seldom random, making its effects indistinguishable from the intentions of the perpetrator. We leverage on the quasi-randomness of accidental landmine explosions to study how violence shapes electoral outcomes in Colombia. We combine the geo-location of landmine blasts with the coordinates of voting polls in a regression discontinuity design that compares polls close to which a landmine exploded just before the election to those close to which it did just afterward. Blasts within a month from election day depress turnout by 23 percent. In addition, those who do vote penalize the democratic left for the explosions and are more likely to support political parties with ties with illegal paramilitary groups. We provide evidence that the reduction in turnout is driven by fear, and that the post-explosion voting patterns are not driven by changes in composition of voters but rather by changes in voting preferences that are consistent with blaming the democratic left for the actions of illegal left-wing insurgents. Finally, we provide suggestive evidence that demining campaigns increase turnout, this partially offsetting the effect of explosions.

Chair: Subhasish Chowdhury, Co-Chair: Kai Konrad

Contact Person

Event Team

Max-Planck-Institut für Steuerrecht und Öffentliche Finanzen

Marstallplatz 1
80539 München

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