IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

What Persuades Voters? A Field Experiment on Political Campaigning

  • Jared Barton

    ()

    (Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science and Department of Economics, George Mason University)

  • Marco Castillo

    ()

    (Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science and Department of Economics, George Mason University)

  • Ragan Petrie

    ()

    (Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science and Department of Economics, George Mason University)

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

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.gmu.edu/schools/chss/economics/icesworkingpapers.gmu.edu/pdf/1031.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science in its series Working Papers with number 1031.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Jan 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:gms:wpaper:1031
Contact details of provider: Postal: 3330 Washington Blvd., Arlington, VA 22201
Phone: 703-993-4850
Fax: 703-993-4851
Web page: http://ices.gmu.edu/
Email:


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.:

as in new window
  1. 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.
  2. Glenn Harrison & John List, 2004. "Field experiments," Artefactual Field Experiments 00058, The Field Experiments Website.
  3. Stefano DellaVigna & Ethan Kaplan, 2006. "The Fox News Effect: Media Bias and Voting," NBER Working Papers 12169, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.
  5. Alan Gerber & Daniel Bergan & Dean Karlan, 2006. "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.
  6. Andrea Prat, 2002. "Campaign Advertising and Voter Welfare," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(4), pages 999-1017.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

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 you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.