NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Publications by Gregory A. Huber

Contact and additional information for this authorAll publicationsWorking Papers only

Working Papers and Chapters

May 2013Partisan Bias in Factual Beliefs about Politics
with John G. Bullock, Alan S. Gerber, Seth J. Hill: w19080
Partisanship seems to affect factual beliefs about politics. For example, Republicans are more likely than Democrats to say that the deficit rose during the Clinton administration; Democrats are more likely to say that inflation rose under Reagan. We investigate whether such patterns reflect differing beliefs among partisans or instead reflect a desire to praise one party or criticize another. We develop a model of partisan survey response and report two experiments that are based on the model. The experiments show that small payments for correct and “don't know” responses sharply diminish the gap between Democrats and Republicans in responses to “partisan” factual questions. The results suggest that the apparent differences in factual beliefs between members of different parties may be mo...
December 2011Do Perceptions of Ballot Secrecy Influence Turnout? Results from a Field Experiment
with Alan S. Gerber, David Doherty, Conor M. Dowling, Seth J. Hill: w17673
Although the secret ballot has long been secured as a legal matter in the United States, formal secrecy protections are not equivalent to convincing citizens that they may vote privately and without fear of reprisal. We present survey evidence that those who have not previously voted are particularly likely to voice doubts about the secrecy of the voting process. We then report results from a field experiment where we provided registered voters with information about ballot secrecy protections prior to the 2010 general election. We find that these letters increased turnout for registered citizens without records of previous turnout, but did not appear to influence the behavior of citizens who had previously voted. These results suggest that although the secret ballot is a long-standing ins...
September 2009Party Affiliation, Partisanship, and Political Beliefs: A Field Experiment
with Alan S. Gerber, Ebonya Washington: w15365
Political partisanship is strongly correlated with attitudes and behavior, but it is unclear from this pattern whether partisan identity has a causal effect on political behavior and attitudes. We report the results of a field experiment designed to investigate the causal effect of party identification. Prior to the February 2008 Connecticut presidential primary, researchers sent a mailing to a random sample of unaffiliated registered voters informing them of the need to register in order to participate in the upcoming primary. Comparing post-treatment survey responses to subjects’ baseline survey responses, we find that those informed of the need to register with a party were more likely to affiliate with a party and subsequently showed stronger partisanship. Further, we find that the tre...

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