Testing Legislator Responsiveness to Citizens and Firms in the Vietnamese National Assembly: A Field Experiment
Our project aims to establish whether targeted provision of constituent preferences increases the responsiveness of legislators. Using a randomized evaluation, we assign delegates in the Vietnamese National Assembly (VNA) to one of three groups: (1) those briefed on the opinions of citizens within their province; (2) those presented with the preferences of local firms; and (3) those receiving no informational treatment whatsoever. Following these midsummer briefings, each legislator will receive an email from an artificial constituent exhorting him or her to speak in the upcoming autumn legislative debate. Responsiveness will be measured via (1) replies to “constituent” emails, (2) speaking rates on the floor of the VNA, (3) the rates at which delegates cite or otherwise use the briefing materials, and (4) citation counts. All necessary information is publicly available, the cooperation has been obtained, and power simulations indicate that an effect should be detectable.