Donald P. Green

Donald P. Green
Columbia University | CU · Department of Political Science

Ph.D.

About

203
Publications
128,246
Reads
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25,473
Citations
Citations since 2017
31 Research Items
12185 Citations
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Additional affiliations
July 2011 - July 2013
Columbia University
January 1989 - July 2011
Yale University

Publications

Publications (203)
Article
Despite the increasing sums devoted to online political advertising, our understanding of the persuasive effects of such advertising is limited. We report the results of a ZIP code level randomized field experiment conducted over Facebook and Instagram during the 2018 U.S. midterm elections in Florida. The ads, produced by a Democratic-leaning poli...
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Chronic teacher absenteeism is widespread in Uganda, with approximately one-third of public school teachers absent on any given day. Absenteeism and other problems that arise in Uganda’s public education system are often attributed to a lack of public oversight and parental involvement. In an effort to develop a scalable method of encouraging commu...
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This study uses a randomized controlled trial (RCT) to evaluate the effectiveness of a mass media campaign designed to reduce pregnancy among Latina teenagers. We aired public service announcements (PSAs) on terrestrial radio stations in California. The sample includes 28 radio stations and over 11,000 births to Latina teenagers in 2016. The PSA, n...
Chapter
Experimental political science has changed. In two short decades, it evolved from an emergent method to an accepted method to a primary method. The challenge now is to ensure that experimentalists design sound studies and implement them in ways that illuminate cause and effect. Ethical boundaries must also be respected, results interpreted in a tra...
Article
Experimental political science has changed. In two short decades, it evolved from an emergent method to an accepted method to a primary method. The challenge now is to ensure that experimentalists design sound studies and implement them in ways that illuminate cause and effect. Ethical boundaries must also be respected, results interpreted in a tra...
Article
Experimental political science has changed. In two short decades, it evolved from an emergent method to an accepted method to a primary method. The challenge now is to ensure that experimentalists design sound studies and implement them in ways that illuminate cause and effect. Ethical boundaries must also be respected, results interpreted in a tra...
Article
Experimental political science has changed. In two short decades, it evolved from an emergent method to an accepted method to a primary method. The challenge now is to ensure that experimentalists design sound studies and implement them in ways that illuminate cause and effect. Ethical boundaries must also be respected, results interpreted in a tra...
Article
Experimental political science has changed. In two short decades, it evolved from an emergent method to an accepted method to a primary method. The challenge now is to ensure that experimentalists design sound studies and implement them in ways that illuminate cause and effect. Ethical boundaries must also be respected, results interpreted in a tra...
Article
In 2016 the city of Bogotá doubled police patrols and intensified city services on high-crime streets. They did so based on a criminological consensus that such place-based programs not only decrease crime, but also have beneficial spillovers for nearby streets. To test this, we worked with Bogotá to experiment on an unprecedented scale. We randoml...
Article
Experimental researchers in political science frequently face the problem of inferring which of several treatment arms is most effective. They may also seek to estimate mean outcomes under that arm, construct confidence intervals, and test hypotheses. Ordinarily, multiarm trials conducted using static designs assign participants to each arm with fi...
Article
The past decade has seen rapid growth in research that evaluates methods for reducing prejudice. This essay reviews 418 experiments reported in 309 manuscripts from 2007 to 2019 to assess which approaches work best and why. Our quantitative assessment uses meta-analysis to estimate average effects. Our qualitative assessment calls attention to land...
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One of the hallmarks of the Trump Administration has been the president’s frequent use of Twitter to express his approval of or disdain for firms such as L.L. Bean or Macy’s. The suddenness with which corporations have come into the political spotlight presents a research opportunity to scholars interested in opinion leadership and partisan polariz...
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Education–entertainment refers to dramatizations designed to convey information and to change attitudes. Buoyed by observational studies suggesting that education–entertainment strongly influences beliefs, attitudes and behaviours, scholars have recently assessed education–entertainment by using rigorous experimental designs in field settings. Stud...
Article
A randomized trial was conducted in rural Uganda in which 112 villages were exposed to video dramatizations about violence against women (VAW) or placebo topics. The treatment videos encouraged viewers to report VAW. Eight months later, surveys showed increased willingness to report in treatment villages as well as lower reported rates of VAW. The...
Article
Public service announcements (PSAs) are key staples for broadcasters in fulfilling their Federal Communications Commission–mandated public interest mission, and the familiarity of the PSA format has helped motivate broadcaster attempts to monetize these short, community-focused messages. But relatively few studies have rigorously assessed the impac...
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Background: Many place-based randomized trials and quasi-experiments use a pair of cross-section surveys, rather than panel surveys, to estimate the average treatment effect of an intervention. In these studies, a random sample of individuals in each geographic cluster is selected for a baseline (preintervention) survey, and an independent random...
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This paper evaluates the state of contact hypothesis research from a policy perspective. Building on Pettigrew and Tropp's (2006) influential meta-analysis, we assemble all intergroup contact studies that feature random assignment and delayed outcome measures, of which there are 27 in total, nearly two-thirds of which were published following the o...
Article
Despite decades of research on the persuasive effects of propaganda, little is known about opinion change in the wake of journalistic accounts of scandal involving public officials. To what extent and under what conditions do opinions change in the wake of information conveyed through newspapers? We conducted five experiments to assess how publiciz...
Article
This study evaluates the turnout effects of direct mail sent in advance of the 2014 New Hampshire Senate election. Registered Republican women were sent up to 10 mailings from a conservative advocacy group that encouraged participation in the upcoming election. We find that mail raises turnout, but no gains are achieved beyond five mailers. This fi...
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We propose to change the default P-value threshold for statistical significance for claims of new discoveries from 0.05 to 0.005.
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Although similar to other U.S. minorities in terms of socio-economic status and political interest, Native Americans are more dispersed geographically and much less likely to vote. This pattern suggests that at least part of the disparity in turnout might be due to Native Americans’ lower exposure to statewide and national mobilization campaigns. T...
Article
A large-scale experiment assessed the turnout effects of the “Neighbors” mailer, which exerts social pressure to vote by disclosing the past turnout records of recipients and their neighbors. A prior large-scale experiment conducted in a low salience election found that this mailer increased turnout substantially. The experiment reported here gauge...
Article
Missing outcome data plague many randomized experiments. Common solutions rely on ignorability assumptions that may not be credible in all applications. We propose a method for confronting missing outcome data that makes fairly weak assumptions but can still yield informative bounds on the average treatment effect. Our approach is based on a combin...
Article
Field experiments on voter mobilization enable researchers to test theoretical propositions while at the same time addressing practical questions that confront campaigns. This confluence of interests has led to increasing collaboration between researchers and campaign organizations, which in turn has produced a rapid accumulation of experiments on...
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Across the social sciences, growing concerns about research transparency have led to calls for pre-analysis plans (PAPs) that specify in advance how researchers intend to analyze the data they are about to gather. PAPs promote transparency and credibility by helping readers distinguish between exploratory and confirmatory analyses. However, PAPs ar...
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We report the results of three field experiments that provided nonpartisan information about municipal- and state-level incentives for making political contributions to potential donors. Our experiments examine two types of contribution incentive programs, public matching funds and tax credits, in three different jurisdictions: New York City, Virgi...
Article
Randomized experiments are considered the gold standard for causal inference because they can provide unbiased estimates of treatment effects for the experimental participants. However, researchers and policymakers are often interested in using a specific experiment to inform decisions about other target populations. In education research, increasi...
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Although lawn signs rank among the most widely used campaign tactics, little scholarly attention has been paid to the question of whether they actually generate votes. Working in collaboration with a congressional candidate, a mayoral candidate, an independent expenditure campaign directed against a gubernatorial candidate, and a candidate for coun...
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Rosenstone and Hansen’s (1993) treatise on the mobilizing effects of campaign activity and social interactions marks a turning point in scholarship on political participation. This essay looks back at this pivotal work and the experimental research agenda that emerged from it. Decades of subsequent research have reinforced and extended the book’s k...
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To what extent are television viewers affected by the behaviors and decisions they see modeled by characters in television soap operas? Collaborating with scriptwriters for three prime-time nationally-broadcast Spanish-language telenovelas, we embedded scenes about topics such as drunk driving or saving money at randomly assigned periods during the...
Article
Field experiments and regression discontinuity designs test whether voting is habit forming by examining whether a random shock to turnout in one election affects participation in subsequent elections. We contribute to this literature by offering a vast amount of new statistical evidence on the long-term consequences of random and quasi-random indu...
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INSIGHTS Design principles for synthetic ecology p. 1425 ▶ Whacking hydrogen into metal p. 1429 PE R S PE C T IVE S SCIENTIFIC INTEGRITY Self-correction in science at work By Bruce Alberts, 1 Ralph J. Cicerone, 2 Stephen E. Fienberg, 3 Alexander Kamb, 4 Marcia McNutt, 5 * Robert M. Nerem, 6 Randy Schekman , 7 Richard Shiffrin, 8 Victoria Stodden, 9...
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Transparency, openness, and reproducibility are readily recognized as vital features of science (1, 2). When asked, most scientists embrace these features as disciplinary norms and values (3). Therefore, one might expect that these valued features would be routine in daily practice. Yet, a growing body of evidence suggests that this is not the case...
Article
We report the results of a field experiment conducted in New York City during the 2013 election cycle, examining the impact of nonpartisan messages on donations from small contributors. Using information from voter registration and campaign finance records, we built a forecasting model to identify voters with an above-average probability of donatin...
Article
Can a single conversation change minds on divisive social issues, such as same-sex marriage? A randomized placebo-controlled trial assessed whether gay (n = 22) or straight (n = 19) messengers were effective at encouraging voters (n = 972) to support same-sex marriage and whether attitude change persisted and spread to others in voters' social netw...
Article
Field experiments are randomized experiments that take place under naturalistic conditions. This research method is experiencing rapid growth throughout the social sciences and especially in legal studies, where it is used to rigorously evaluate policies and programs. We begin by charting the growth of field experimentation in law and legal studies...
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The credibility revolution in the social sciences has placed new emphasis on research designs that provide strong evidence of cause and effect. The next generation of hate crime research must move in this design-based direction. This essay reviews recent examples of experiments and quasi-experiments in criminology, political science, and economics...
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We propose a consistent estimator of sharp bounds on the vari-ance of the difference-in-means estimator in completely randomized experiments. Generalizing Robins [(1988), Statist. Med. 7 773–78], our results resolve a well-known identification problem in causal in-ference posed by Neyman [(1923), reprint. (1990) Stat. Sci. 5 465– 472]. A practical...
Article
Field experimentation is a promising but seldom used method for studying the effects of media messages on political attitudes and behavior. The practical challenges of conducting media experiments in real-world settings often come down to securing cooperation from research partners, such as political campaigns. To do so, researchers must be prepare...
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There is growing appreciation for the advantages of experimentation in the social sciences. Policy-relevant claims that in the past were backed by theoretical arguments and inconclusive correlations are now being investigated using more credible methods. Changes have been particularly pronounced in development economics, where hundreds of randomize...
Article
A small but growing social science literature examines the correspondence between experimental results obtained in lab and field settings. This article reviews this literature and reanalyzes a set of recent experiments carried out in parallel in both the lab and field. Using a standardized format that calls attention to both the experimental estima...
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Survey respondents may give untruthful answers to sensitive questions when asked directly. In recent years, researchers have turned to the list experiment (also known as the item count technique) to overcome this difficulty. While list experiments are arguably less prone to bias than direct questioning, list experiments are also more susceptible to...
Article
The collection of delinquent fines is a vast and ongoing public administration challenge. In the United Kingdom, unpaid fines amount to more than 500 million pounds. Managing noncompliant accounts and dispatching bailiffs to collect fines in person is costly. This paper reports the results of a large randomized controlled trial, led by the UK Cabin...
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The vast literature on party identification has gradually become bogged down by disputes about how to interpret observational data. This paper proposes the use of experimental designs to shed light on the responsiveness of party identification to short term forces such as retrospective performance evaluations. Examples of recent field experiments a...
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Internet advertisements are an increasingly common form of mass communication and present fresh opportunities for understanding enduring questions about political persuasion. However, the effects of online ads on electoral choice have received little scholarly attention. We develop a new field experimental approach for assessing the effects of onli...
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A randomized experiment was conducted to assess the effectiveness of three forms of e-mail appeals to prospective members of a newly formed professional group. The baseline condition consisted of an impersonal appeal; prospective members were sent a mass e-mail encouraging them to join. Participants in the personal condition received an e-mail with...
Article
Published reports of experiments with noncompliance often fail to report information necessary for recovering average potential outcomes for compliers. We derive sharp bounds on the average potential outcomes for compliers, when given only average outcomes for units assigned to treatment, average outcomes for units assigned to control, and the diff...
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Although field experiments have long been used to study voter turnout, only recently has this research method generated widespread scholarly interest. This article reviews the substantive contributions of the field experimental literature on voter turnout. This literature may be divided into two strands, one that focuses on the question of which ca...
Article
Missing outcome data plague many randomized experiments. Common solutions such as selection, imputation, and reweighting models rest on untestable assumptions that may not be credible. We propose a measurement and estimation strategy for dealing with missing outcome data that makes minimal assumptions but still yields substantively informative boun...
Article
Drawing on examples of recently published and widely-cited studies in experimental economics, we show that behavioral games are frequently analyzed in a manner that is prone to biased causal inference. First, deficiencies in design and implementation jeopardize the crucial assumption that treatments are statistically independent of potential outcom...
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Survey experimenters routinely test for systematically varying treatment effects by using interaction terms between the treatment indicator and covariates. Parametric models, such as linear or logistic regression, are currently used to search for systematic treatment effect heterogeneity but suffer from several shortcomings; in particular, the pote...
Article
Interpersonal communication presents a methodological challenge and a research opportunity for researchers involved in field experiments. The challenge is that communication among subjects blurs the line between treatment and control conditions. When treatment effects are transmitted from subject to subject, the stable unit treatment value assumpti...
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The effectiveness of prerecorded phone calls was assessed in the context of a Texas Republican primary election that featured a contest for state Supreme Court. Automated calls endorsing one of the judicial candidates were recorded by the sitting Republican governor and directed at more than a quarter million people identified as likely voters and...
Article
Citizens are political simpletons—that is only a modest exaggeration of a common characterization of voters. Certainly, there is no shortage of evidence of citizens' limited political knowledge, even about matters of the highest importance, along with inconsistencies in their thinking, some glaring by any standard. But this picture of citizens all...
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For decades, scholars have argued that education causes greater support for civil liberties by increasing students’ exposure to political knowledge and constitutional norms, such as due process and freedom of expression. Support for this claim comes exclusively from observational evidence, principally from cross-sectional surveys. This paper presen...
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Experimental researchers routinely use regression in order to control for pre-treatment covariates. This practice has become controversial in the wake of recent demonstrations showing that this type of regression is prone to bias in small samples. Bias may even remain when units are sampled from a larger population of infnite size. This paper uses...
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We report the results of the first large-scale experiment involving paid political advertising. During the opening months of a 2006 gubernatorial campaign, approximately $2 million of television and radio advertising on behalf of the incumbent candidate was deployed experimentally. In each experimental media market, the launch date and volume of te...
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This paper reports the results of the first large-scale experiment involving paid political advertising. During the opening months of the 2006 Texas gubernatorial campaign, approximately $2 million of television and radio advertising on behalf of the incumbent candidate were experimentally deployed. In each experimental media market, the launch dat...
Article
The use of instrumental variables regression in political science has evolved from an obscure technique to a staple of the political science tool kit. Yet the surge of interest in the instrumental variables method has led to implementation of uneven quality. After providing a brief overview of the method and the assumptions on which it rests, we ch...
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Prior experimental research has demonstrated that voter turnout rises substantially when people receive mailings that indicate whether they voted in previous elections. This effect suggests that voters are sensitive to whether their compliance with the norm of voting is being monitored. The present study extends this line of research by investigati...
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Recent field experiments have demonstrated the powerful effect of social pressure messages on voter turnout. This research note considers the question of whether these interventions’ effects persist over a series of subsequent elections. Tracking more than one million voters from six experimental studies, we find strong and statistically significan...
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Because Hispanic voters are seldom targeted for campaign communication and because they listen to radio at higher rates than non-Hispanics, Spanish-language radio represents an attractive venue for testing whether nonpartisan mass media messages can mobilize voters. We conducted a large-scale, national field experiment testing the impact of nonpart...
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Randomized experiments commonly compare subjects receiving a treatment to subjects receiving a placebo. An alternative design, frequently used in field experimentation, compares subjects assigned to an untreated baseline group to subjects assigned to a treatment group, adjusting statistically for the fact that some members of the treatment group ma...
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In recent years, social scientists have increasingly turned to matching as a method for drawing causal inferences from observational data. Matching compares those who receive a treatment to those with similar background attributes who do not receive a treatment. Researchers who use matching frequently tout its ability to reduce bias, particularly w...
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Using data from a randomized field experiment within a Deliberative Poll, we examine deliberation’s effects on both policy attitudes and the extent to which ordinal rankings of policy options approach single-peakedness (a help in avoiding cyclical majorities). The issues were airport expansion and revenue-sharing in New Haven, Connecticut and its s...
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Psychologists increasingly recommend experimental analysis of mediation. This is a step in the right direction because mediation analyses based on nonexperimental data are likely to be biased and because experiments, in principle, provide a sound basis for causal inference. But even experiments cannot overcome certain threats to inference that aris...
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The powerful relationship between education and voter turnout is arguably the most well-documented and robust finding in American survey research. Yet the causal interpretation of this relationship remains controversial, with many authors suggesting that the apparent link between education and turnout is spurious. In contrast to previous work, whic...
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her help in reviewing the experimental literature in political science, Arjun Shenoy for his help in reviewing the literature on public support for welfare, Lynn Vavreck for sharing data, and the facilities and staff of
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The contact hypothesis predicts that racial prejudice diminishes when whites and nonwhites interact in a setting that fosters cooperation among people of equal status. This hypothesis has seldom, if ever, been tested using randomized experimentation outside the laboratory. This chapter reports the results of a randomized field experiment in which w...
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This article presents an overview of field experiments and their contribution to the study of political behavior. First, it briefly outlines the history of field experimentation in political science and neighboring disciplines. It then summarizes a series of important and interrelated research literatures, exploring the influences of political camp...
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Deference and dissent strike a delicate balance in any polity. Insufficient deference to authority may incapacitate government, whereas too much may allow leaders to orchestrate mass violence. Although cross-national and cross-temporal variation in deference to authority and willingness to express dissent has long been studied in political science,...
Article
Most prior studies of recidivism have used observational data to estimate the causal effect of imprisonment or probation on the probability that a convicted individual is re-arrested after release. Very few studies have taken advantage of the fact that in some jurisdictions, defendants are randomly assigned to judges who vary in sentencing tendenci...
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Regression discontinuity (RD) designs enable researchers to estimate causal effects using observational data. These causal effects are identified at the point of discontinuity that distinguishes those observations that do or do not receive the treatment. One challenge in applying RD in practice is that data may be sparse in the immediate vicinity o...
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This brief review considers how field experiments have contributed to the study of collective action. Field experiments have largely supported findings from laboratory studies suggesting that collective action problems are often overcome through communication and social pressure. These results call into question theories suggesting that collective...