The Causal Effect of Polls on Turnout Intention: A Local Randomization Regression Discontinuity Approach

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Abstract

This letter reports the results of a study that combined a unique natural experiment and a local randomization regression discontinuity approach to estimate the effect of polls on turnout intention. We found that the release of a poll increases turnout intention by 5%. This effect is robust to a number of falsification tests of predetermined covariates, placebo outcomes, and changes in the time window selected to estimate the effect. The letter discusses the advantages of the local randomization approach over the standard continuity-based design to study important cases in political science where the running variable is discrete; a method that may expand the range of empirical topics that can be analyzed using regression discontinuity methods.

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Brugarolas, P., & Miller, L. (2021). The Causal Effect of Polls on Turnout Intention: A Local Randomization Regression Discontinuity Approach. Political Analysis, 29(4), 554–560. https://doi.org/10.1017/pan.2020.50

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