Monthly Archives: February 2009

Delegating Direct Democracy: Interparty Legislative Competition and the Adoption of the Initiative in the American States

When a minority party gains tenuous control of the legislature, or when a majority feels that it might become the minority soon, then legislators gain an incentive to weaken the legislature by empowering the median voter. Today, voters in 24 states can make policy directly through the initiative process. In most of these states, the […]

Who is Mobilized to Vote? A Re-Analysis of 11 Field Experiments

Efficient campaign managers should identify these fence-sitters and mobilize only them Recent randomized experiments have shown that door-to-door mobilization efforts can have massive payoffs, boosting turnout by 7 to 10 percentage points among those targeted. But although previous studies have shown that mobilization has a large aggregate effect, they have not shown whether mobilization effects […]

A Formal Model of Learning and Policy Diffusion

Much of the empirical work to date has not adequately distinguished [game-theoretic] learning-based policy diffusion from [decision-theoretic] myopic individual adoptions. Those who advocate federalism argue that devolution improves policy outcomes nationwide by providing opportunities for local experimentation. In the words of Louis Brandeis, justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1932): It is one of the […]