Political Behavior

, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 27–42 | Cite as

Call Your Legislator: A Field Experimental Study of the Impact of a Constituency Mobilization Campaign on Legislative Voting

Original Paper

Abstract

Do campaigns encouraging constituents to contact their legislator influence public policy? We answer this question with a field experiment in which Michigan state legislators are randomly assigned to be contacted by their constituents about a specific bill or to a control group. The field experimental design allows us to produce internally and externally valid estimates of the effects on legislative voting of a campaign in which constituents are urged to contact their legislator. The estimated effect is substantial: being targeted by constituent contacts increases the probability of supporting the relevant legislation by about 12 percentage points. We discuss the normative and theoretical implications of these results.

Keywords

Field experiment Legislative voting Citizen contacts 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of CommunicationMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  2. 2.Department of Advertising, Public Relations & RetailingMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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