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Public Economics Workshop - Nichole Szembrot

Thu, 09/21/2017 - 11:40am

Nichole Szembrot

Trinity College (visiting Cornell)

494 Uris Hall


This paper documents voters' perceptions of interest group influence on candidates' policy positions and the effect of perceived influence on intended voting behavior. In an online survey conducted during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, subjects answered questions about their own opinions on 10 policy issues and made hypothetical choices between pairs of candidates. Then, they answered questions about the opinions of the leading candidates for president on the same set of issues, including and excluding the possible influence of donors. Respondents also rated candidates in terms of 7 personal characteristics. Controlling for candidates' policy intentions, voters are less likely to vote for a candidate they perceived to have received more money, but the degree of perceived influence has no effect on vote choice. Since the receipt of donations appears to affect voters’ evaluations of candidates’ personal characteristics, there is no independent effect of donations when controls for personal characteristics are included in the model.

Event Categories: Public Economics