What Persuades Voters? A Field Experiment on Political Campaigning
Political campaigns spend millions of dollars each voting cycle on persuading voters, and it is well established that these campaigns do affect voting decisions. What is less understood is what element of campaigningÑthe content of the message or the delivery method itselfÑ sways voters, a question that relates back to how advertising works generally. We use a field experiment in a 2010 general election for local office to identify the persuasive mechanism behind a particular form of campaigning: candidate door-to-door canvassing. In the experiment, the candidate either canvassed a household or left literature without meeting the voters. In addition, the literature either contained information on the candidate or on how to vote. Our main result is that voters are most persuaded by personal contact (the delivery method), rather than the content of the message. Given our setting, we conclude that personal contact seems to work, not through social pressure, but by providing a costly or verifiable signal of quality. Length: 49
|Date of creation:||Jan 2012|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 4400 University Drive, MSN 1B2, Fairfax, VA 22030|
Web page: http://ices.gmu.edu/
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Price, Michael K., 2008. "Fund-raising success and a solicitor's beauty capital: Do blondes raise more funds?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 100(3), pages 351-354, September.
- Stefano DellaVigna & Matthew Gentzkow, 2009.
"Persuasion: Empirical Evidence,"
NBER Working Papers
15298, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Prat, A., 1997.
"Campaign Advertising and Voter Welfare,"
1997-118, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
- Stefano DellaVigna & John A. List & Ulrike Malmendier, 2012.
"Testing for Altruism and Social Pressure in Charitable Giving,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 127(1), pages 1-56.
- Stefano DellaVigna & John A. List & Ulrike Malmendier, 2009. "Testing for Altruism and Social Pressure in Charitable Giving," NBER Working Papers 15629, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Stefano DellaVigna & John List & Ulrike Malmendier, 2012. "Testing for altruism and social pressure in charitable giving," Natural Field Experiments 00137, The Field Experiments Website.
- Gerber, Alan & Karlan, Dean & Bergan, Daniel, 2006.
"Does The Media Matter? A Field Experiment Measuring the Effect of Newspapers on Voting Behavior and Political Opinions,"
12, Yale University, Department of Economics.
- Alan S. Gerber & Dean Karlan & Daniel Bergan, 2009. "Does the Media Matter? A Field Experiment Measuring the Effect of Newspapers on Voting Behavior and Political Opinions," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 35-52, April.
- Daniel Bergan & Alan Gerber & Dean Karlan, 2009. "Does the media matter? A field experiment measuring the effect of newspapers on voting behavior and political opinions," Natural Field Experiments 00252, The Field Experiments Website.
- Glenn W. Harrison & John A. List, 2004.
Journal of Economic Literature,
American Economic Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1009-1055, December.
- Alan Gerber & Donald Green, 2000. "The effects of canvassing, direct mail, and telephone contact on voter turnout: A field experiment," Natural Field Experiments 00248, The Field Experiments Website.
- Stefano DellaVigna & Ethan Kaplan, 2006.
"The Fox News Effect: Media Bias and Voting,"
NBER Working Papers
12169, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Potters, Jan & Sloof, Randolph & van Winden, Frans, 1997.
"Campaign expenditures, contributions and direct endorsements: The strategic use of information and money to influence voter behavior,"
European Journal of Political Economy,
Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 1-31, February.
- Potters, J.J.M. & Sloof, R. & van Winden, F.A.A.M., 1997. "Campaign expenditures, contributions and direct endorsements. The strategic use of information and money to influence voter behaviour," Other publications TiSEM 347b9f99-149a-4ab3-966f-f, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
- Potters, J.J.M. & Sloof, R. & van Winden, F.A.A.M., 1997. "Campaign Expenditures, Contributions and Direct Endorsements : The Strategic Use of Information and Money to Influence Voter Behavior," Discussion Paper 1997-27, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
- David Stromberg, 2008. "How the Electoral College Influences Campaigns and Policy: The Probability of Being Florida," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 769-807, June.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:gms:wpaper:1031. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Stan Tsirulnikov)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.