Labor Unions and Political Mobilization: Diminishing Returns of Repetitious Contact

29 Pages Posted: 21 Mar 2016

See all articles by J. Ryan Lamare

J. Ryan Lamare

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - School of Labor & Employment Relations

Date Written: April 2016

Abstract

Voter mobilization by unions has garnered some attention from scholars, and is seen as an important political tool. Unions often mobilize voters repeatedly across several campaigns; however, the literature treats mobilization as a singular event. This paper empirically analyzes turnout of 85,064 registered voters over 14 months at five election intervals in Los Angeles, exploring whether unionā€led mobilization is subject to diminishing returns across multiple elections. Results indicate that diminishing returns occur; three or more contacts are no more beneficial than one or two. Contact in recent elections is more effective than distant contact, and results differ slightly by contact type.

Suggested Citation

Lamare, J. Ryan, Labor Unions and Political Mobilization: Diminishing Returns of Repetitious Contact (April 2016). Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Vol. 55, Issue 2, pp. 346-374, 2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2752170 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/irel.12137

J. Ryan Lamare (Contact Author)

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - School of Labor & Employment Relations ( email )

504 East Armory Avenue
Champaign, IL 61820-6297
United States

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