The Political Marginalization of Latinos: Evidence from Three Field Experiments

52 Pages Posted: 24 Jun 2016  

Andrew Janusz

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Department of Political Science

Nazita Lajevardi

UCSD Department of Political Science

Date Written: June 21, 2016

Abstract

Elected officials have clear electoral incentives to respond to their constituents, however recent experimental studies find evidence of racial bias. We contribute to the growing literature on representation and responsiveness by investigating discrimination against Latinos, the largest minority group in the United States. Through a series of three field experiments at both the national and state level, we examine whether race and immigration status affect how responsive legislators are to constituent requests for assistance. Our analysis reveals that strategic partisan behavior, not racial group membership best explains the differential treatment we observe. Republican legislators are significantly less responsive to undocumented Latino immigrants than they are to white citizens. Democrats, in contrast, do not discriminate against undocumented Latinos. These results indicate that racial minority groups in the United States have dissimilar political experiences and that undocumented Latinos in particular face barriers to inclusion.

Keywords: Latinos, Representation, Responsiveness, Experiment

Suggested Citation

Janusz, Andrew and Lajevardi, Nazita, The Political Marginalization of Latinos: Evidence from Three Field Experiments (June 21, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2799043

Andrew Janusz (Contact Author)

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Department of Political Science ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
Code 0521
La Jolla, CA 92093-0521
United States

Nazita Lajevardi

UCSD Department of Political Science ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
Mail Code 0502
La Jolla, CA 92093-0112
United States

HOME PAGE: http://nazita.squarespace.com

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