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One strike and you’re out! The Master Lever’s effect on senatorial policy-making

Author

Listed:
  • Olga Gorelkina
  • Ioanna Grypari
  • Erin Hengel

Abstract

We investigate the impact a straight-ticket voting option—a.k.a. the Master Lever—has on U.S. senators’ roll-call voting records in Congress. Using a difference-in-differences framework, we find the Master Lever leads to a 3–6 percent rightward shift in senators’ policy positions. The effect is largely driven by the Republican party. To interpret our results, we analyse the Master Lever’s impact on electoral incentives and outcomes. Our findings suggest that ballot design has a non-negligible impact on policy-making. They also imply that electoral outcomes in moderate to right-leaning Master Lever states may be especially vulnerable to right-wing, non-partisan voters.

Suggested Citation

  • Olga Gorelkina & Ioanna Grypari & Erin Hengel, 2019. "One strike and you’re out! The Master Lever’s effect on senatorial policy-making," Working Papers 201906, University of Liverpool, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:liv:livedp:201906
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Ballot Design; Elections; Political Positions; U.S. Senate;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • K16 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Election Law
    • N42 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-

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