[gov3009-l] Applied Stats Wkshop: Daniel Ho this Wed@noon

adiamond@fas.harvard.edu adiamond@fas.harvard.edu
Sun, 7 Dec 2003 19:50:00 -0500

Research Workshop in Applied Statistics
Please join us this Wednesday @ noon at CBRSS,
the Center for Basic Research in the Social Sciences,
34 Kirkland St., Rm 22, 
for a presentation by Daniel E. Ho:
"Shaken, Not Stirred: Evidence on Ballot Order Effects 
from the California Alphabet Lottery, 1982 - 2002"
(coauthored with Kosuke Imai)

We answer the longstanding question of whether the name order of candidates on 
ballots affects election outcomes by analyzing a rare natural experiment. 
Since 1975, California law has mandated randomizing the ballot order for 
statewide offices with a lottery, wherein the letters of the alphabet would 
be "shaken vigorously" in a container. Previous studies, relying 
overwhelmingly on non-randomized data, have reached no consensus on whether 
ballot order effects even exist. Our analysis of statewide elections from 1982 
to 2002 reveals that in general elections ballot order significantly impacts 
minor party candidates, while having inconclusive effects on major party 
candidates. In primaries, however, being listed first benefits all parties. 
Major party candidates generally gain one to three percentage points, while 
minor party candidates may double their vote shares. In both general and 
primary elections, we find the largest effect for nonpartisan races where 
candidates in first position gain three percentage points. 

As always, lunch will be provided.

Contact information, the current schedule, and previous presentations may be
found at the course web site: http://www.courses.fas.harvard.edu/~gov3009/


The Research Workshop in Applied Statistics is a forum for graduate
students, faculty, and visiting scholars to present and discuss work
in progress and exchange ideas.  It is intended as a tour of Harvard's
statistical innovations and applications with weekly stops in
different disciplines such as economics, epidemiology, medicine,
political science, psychology, public policy, public health, sociology
and statistics.  The topics of papers presented in previous years
included missing data, survey analysis, Bayesian simulation, sample
selection, and models for election and portfolio choice. Faculty and
student participants in the workshop present their current projects,
and guest speakers also give occasional presentations. The workshop
provides an excellent opportunity for informal interaction between
graduate students and faculty from a variety of disciplines. Course
credit is available for students as either an upper-level Government
or Sociology class. Lunch is provided.

If you are interested, note that all events are held at noon, in Room 22,
Center for Basic Research in Social Sciences (CBRSS, 34 Kirkland St., this is
the yellow building across the street from William James Hall).
Contact information and previous presentations may be found at the course web
site: http://www.courses.fas.harvard.edu/~gov3009/

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