Tag Archives: experiment

Party Power or Preferences? Quasi-Experimental Evidence from American State Legislatures

Cox, Kousser, and McCubbins want to show that agenda control matters. They did. But without meaning to, they also showed that persuasive leaders and party cohesion matter even more. Consider why some bills can get through a legislature but others can’t. Perhaps (1) legislator preferences are all that matters; liberal legislators vote for liberal bills […]

The Electoral Costs of Party Loyalty in Congress

Voters dislike partisans more than ideologues. Yesterday, I wrote about Ansolabehere and Jones’s article in AJPS showing that voters really do hold members of Congress accountable for their voting record in Congress. On the very next page in AJPS, we find another article on the same theme. But Carson et al. want to change the […]

Using Experiments to Estimate the Effects of Education on Voter Turnout

Education does, indeed, have a robust causal effect on voter turnout. Suppose you’re in a room full of people and you want to know which of them are most likely to be active voters, but you’re not allowed to ask them about their political activity. The best question you can ask them: How many years […]

Do Electoral Quotas Work after They Are Withdrawn? Evidence from a Natural Experiment in India

Women are five times more likely to win in post-quota seats than in other seats. Chew on that. Five times more likely. Women and minorities have a tough time winning American elections. Although half of Americans are female, only 15% of Congress is. Although only 69% of Americans are white, 89% of state legislators and […]

Moral Bias in Large Elections: Theory and Experimental Evidence

In late 2003, Howard Dean lamented that southern white guys with confederate flags on their trucks ought to be voting for Democrats; after all, it’s the Democrats who want to help the working classes. Folks like Dean think that these southern white guys are being duped by wealthy upper-crust Republicans, who trick the southerners into […]

Does Voting History Matter? Analysing Persistence in Turnout

Yes, voting is habit-forming, but to a lesser extent than reported previously. Denny and Doyle have a straightforward point in this article: Yes, voting is habit-forming, but to a lesser extent than reported previously. In a widely discussed article, Gerber, Green, and Shachar (2003) reported that voting in one election raises the probability of voting […]

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 […]

Candidate Positioning and Voter Choice

The lengthy previous literature on candidate positioning has failed to distinguish empirically between these three theories–something that Tomz and Van Houweling (claim to) do in this article. Issue-based voting seems simple enough on its face: Support the candidate who will produce the policies you want. Simple as it sounds, though, there are three competing theories […]