May 03, 2011


Do Politicians Discriminate Against Constituents?

A Yale study looked at how race affects the responsive of state legislators in requests for help with registering to vote.

"Their idea was simple and elegant,"  Ezra Klein notes. "They posed as a voter and e-mailed thousands of state legislators asking for help registering. Actually, I guess I should say they posed as two different voters. One fake voter, 'DeShawn Jackson,' had a black name, and the other, 'Jake Mueller,' had a white name."

Requests to white legislators from the black voter received fewer replies, even when controlling for partisanship. Minority lawmakers did the opposite and responded more frequently.










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