“The Effects of Informational Lobbying by a Legislative Caucus: Evidence from a Field Experiment” with Adam Zelizer, Columbia University

Event time: 
Thursday, November 10, 2016 - 5:30pm through 6:30pm
Institution for Social and Policy Studies (ISPS), Room A001
77 Prospect St.
New Haven, CT 06511
Adam Philip Zelizer, Ph.D. Candidate in American Politics, Columbia University
Event description: 


Abstract: Despite a robust theoretical literature on legislative institutions and information, there exists little empirical evidence linking institutions, information, and legislative behavior. This paper addresses theories of decision-making and persuasion to explore why legislators can be persuaded by informational lobbying, the conditions under which persuasion is likely, and which legislators are most susceptible to influence. The paper presents results from a field experiment conducted in a state legislature that randomized informational briefings by a legislative caucus. It is the first study, to our knowledge, to manipulate the activities of a legislative institution to examine its effects on behavioral outcomes. Results show that randomly assigning legislators to informational lobbying from the caucus increased bill cosponsorship by 60% above baseline rates. Further, persuasion varies across legislators. Results speak to theories of lobbying, the effectiveness of institutions in providing policy-relevant information, and legislators’ susceptibility to informational persuasion.

Speaker: Adam Philip Zelizer is a PhD candidate in American politics. His principal research interest lies in the effects of legislative institutions on individual behavior and collective choice outcomes. Zelizer’s dissertation presents three field experiments on the influence of legislative caucuses on cosponsorship, roll call voting, and bill passage. It focuses on how caucuses support policy expertise and bipartisan behavior. Caucuses illustrate how legislators use informal institutions – those that lack statutory powers – to make informed decisions about politics and policy.

Adam Zelizer’s non-dissertation work includes experimental studies on campaign and media persuasion effects and observational studies on Congressional voting and elections.

Open to: 
Yale Community Only
Event type 
Seminar, Workshop