“Do legislators listen to peers or interest groups? A field experiment examining the effects of informational lobbying on legislative behavior.”
“Reducing teen births among latinas: A pilot RCT to test the effectiveness of radio messages.” Joint with Don Green, Peter Aronow, Winston Lin.
Theories of lobbying, legislative organization, and individual decision-making in legislatures assume information affects legislators’ support for policy alternatives. However, information could affect policy support in many distinct ways, and there is little direct, empirical evidence that information affects legislative behavior. I report results from a field experiment conducted in a state legislature that examines how … Continue reading Why does information influence legislative behavior? Evidence from a field experiment in a state legislature
Despite decades of research on the persuasive effects of propaganda, little is known about opinion change in the wake of newspaper reports of scandal involving public officials. To what extent and under what conditions do opinions change in the wake of information conveyed through newspapers? We conducted four experiments to assess how publicizing scandal in … Continue reading Publicizing scandal: Results from four field experiments
Recent work in political science has argued that policy outcomes at the national level are more responsive to the preferences of the affluent than to the preferences of lower-income Americans. Generally, this work sets aside party—not only any differences between the behavior of Democrats and Republicans, but also any extra responsiveness to a representative’s fellow … Continue reading Who listens to whom?
Gelman, Andrew and Adam Zelizer. 2015. “Evidence on the deleterious impact of sustained use of polynomial regression on causal inference.” Research and Politics 2:1 (March): 1-7. Abstract It is standard in regression discontinuity analysis to control for third- or fifth-degree polynomials of the assignment variable. Such models can overfit, leading to causal inferences that are substantively implausible … Continue reading Polynomial regression discontinuity designs
This study evaluates the turnout effects of mail sent to women voters in advance of the 2014 New Hampshire Senate election. Registered Republican voters were sent up to ten mailings from a conservative advocacy group that encouraged participation in the upcoming election and urged recipients to “vote for new leaders and new opportunity.” We find … Continue reading How much GOTV mail is too much?
A large and growing empirical literature finds that candidates with more extreme policy positions tend to do worse in the general election. This paper investigates why more extreme candidates tend to have lower general election vote shares than moderates from the same party. Using a new dataset identifying Tea Party Republican candidates for state and federal offices, our … Continue reading What happens to Tea Party candidates who win primaries?
This study asks whether partisan polarization in legislative policy coalitions can be diminished by encouraging deliberation among legislators. Legislators randomly selected bills for bipartisan deliberation in caucus meetings. Sponsors discussed the technical aspects of legislation and made explicit persuasive appeals for support. Treated bills received more cosponsors and roll call votes, mainly among members of … Continue reading Can deliberation reduce partisanship? Results from a field experiment in a state legislature
How much do legislators influence one another? Previous studies of this question have generated inconclusive results, in large part due to identification challenges involved in separating the causal effects of interactions from legislators’ tendency to associate with like-minded members. This study provides evidence of peer influence by randomly assigning an information treatment to a fixed, … Continue reading Is information contagious? Evidence of peer influence from two field experiments in a state legislature