A Natural Experiment on Discrimination in Elections

100 Pages Posted: 17 Feb 2017 Last revised: 9 Oct 2019

See all articles by David E. Broockman

David E. Broockman

Stanford Graduate School of Business

Evan J. Soltas

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics, Students

Date Written: October 8, 2019

Abstract

We exploit a natural experiment to study discrimination in elections. In Illinois Republican presidential primaries, voters vote for delegates bound to presidential candidates, but delegates' names convey information about their race and gender. We identify discrimination from variation in vote totals among delegates bound to the same presidential candidate and who face the same voters. Examining delegate vote totals from 2000 to 2016, we estimate nonwhite delegates receive 9 percent fewer votes. We find essentially no gender discrimination. Negligible incentives for statistical discrimination, costs to preferred presidential candidates, and heterogeneity are consistent with an interpretation of this behavior as taste-based.

Keywords: Taste-Based, Racial Discrimination, Voter Behavior

JEL Classification: D72, J15

Suggested Citation

Broockman, David E. and Soltas, Evan J., A Natural Experiment on Discrimination in Elections (October 8, 2019). Stanford University Graduate School of Business Research Paper No. 3499. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2919664

David E. Broockman (Contact Author)

Stanford Graduate School of Business ( email )

655 Knight Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States

Evan J. Soltas

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics, Students ( email )

Cambridge, MA
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
993
Abstract Views
7,690
rank
22,571
PlumX Metrics