John Holbein (University of Virginia)
Are Voting Experiences Transformative? Expanding Upon and Meta-Analyzing the Evidence
You can learn more about Professor Holbein by clicking here.
Where and When: Friday, February 21, 2020 at 3:00pm. Room C-2059, Lionel Groulx, UdeM.
Abstract: When citizens to vote, does it change their other attitudes and behaviors? While foundational theories and correlational evidence suggest that voting is transformative in this way, relatively little research has considered this topic. In this paper, we bring clarity to this literature by exploring the effect of exogenous voting shocks on citizens’ political interest, political knowledge, sense of civic duty, social awareness, and ideological positions. To do so, we pair data from Brazil, Columbia, and the United States with an exact date-of-birth regression discontinuity design. We find that exogenous voting increases have precisely-estimated null average treatment effects on these downstream outcomes. We augment these results with a second approach—a new meta-analysis on whether voting is transformative. This method corroborates the fact that getting people to vote is not sufficient to increase civic engagement.
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This series is sponsored by the Centre for the Study of Democratic Citizenship, which is funded by the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture (FRQSC).