Can Constituents Nudge Legislators? Evidence from a Bias Reduction Field Experiment
28 Pages Posted: 21 Aug 2019
Date Written: August 18, 2019
Nudges are interventions which alter the presentation of choices to improve decision-making. The nudge literature has thus far focused on improving decision-making among the general public. It is unclear if legislators, which are often modeled as being less immune to the biases which allow nudges to succeed, can be nudged. This manuscript shows that legislators can be nudged by their constituents to improve decision-making and therefore their ability to represent. I show this by fielding a bias reduction field experiment among US state legislative offices. To my knowledge this study is the first to succeed in nudging legislators with a low-cost intervention which ordinary constituents can use. This introduces the possibility for constituents to improve governance by nudging legislators to better decision-making.
Keywords: Discrimination, Legislative Audit, Audit Study, Latino Politics, Elite Behavior
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