Gabor Simonovits's research while affiliated with Central European University and other places

Publications (33)

Preprint
Due to its underregulated nature, the rapidly growing sharing economy can be a breeding ground for group-based disparities. Here we investigate discrimination on a leading Hungarian carpooling app against members of the two largest minority groups in the European Union: the Roma (numbering 6 million) and the disabled (numbering 100 million). In a f...
Article
Full-text available
In our study we assess the responsiveness of Hungarian local governments to requests for information by Roma and non-Roma clients, relying on a nationwide correspondence study. Our paper has both methodological and substantive relevance. The methodological novelty is that we treat discrimination as a classification problem and study to what extent...
Preprint
This note explores discrimination against ethnic minorities in the new platform economy. Using experiments fielded in collaboration with a Hungarian car-sharing platform we demonstrate that contrary to the conventional wisdom, Roma users are discriminated even when positive reviews are available. Through a collaborative effort with the platform spa...
Article
To what extent can civil rights NGOs protect ethnic minorities against unequal treatment? We study this question by combining an audit experiment of 1260 local governments in Hungary with an intervention conducted in collaboration with a major Hungarian civil rights NGO. In the audit experiment we demonstrated that Roma individuals were about 13 pe...
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Full-text available
Online perspective-taking experiments have demonstrated great potential in reducing prejudice towards disadvantaged groups such as refugees or Roma. These experiments trigger the psychological process of empathy and evoke feelings of compassion. Meanwhile, a growing literature argues that compassion towards the poor is an important predictor of sup...
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Full-text available
Policy feedbacks take place when public policies change mass participation and mobilize key constituencies. This can influence future rounds of policymaking and solidify government programs. We explore policy feedback in the context of a particularistic policy targeted to a specific electoral constituency: agricultural producers receiving payments...
Research
Full-text available
The number of sharing economy platforms are rapidly growing worldwide, especially peer-to-peer (P2P) online marketplaces operating in the travel and tourism industry. We focus our attention on a Hungarian ridesharing platform in order to understand the working mechanisms of discriminative selection by service providers against service users of vari...
Preprint
Citizen support for democracy-eroding political leaders is receiving much overdue attention, but existing studies have a difficulty disentangling contextual effects (such as who is in power at the time of the survey) from individual differences (like which party one supports and how much). We propose a novel survey experimental design to strip away...
Preprint
To what extent does policy respond to changes in mass policy preferences in U.S. states? Current approaches fail to quantify dynamic (i.e. temporal) responsiveness because they lack meaningful, comparable scales or repeated measures on attitudes and policy. We overcome this issue by measuring minimum wage preferences and policies on the same cardin...
Preprint
With a decade of democratic backsliding in the world and the polarization-driven institutional erosion in the US, people's support for democracy-eroding political leaders is receiving much overdue attention. But existing studies have a difficulty disentangling contextual effects (such as who is in power at the time of the survey) from individual di...
Preprint
Online perspective-taking experiments have demonstrated great potential in reducing prejudice towards disadvantaged groups such as refugees or the Roma. These studies trigger the psychological process of empathy and evoke feelings of compassion. Meanwhile, a growing literature argues that compassion towards the poor is an important predictor of sup...
Article
Full-text available
What are the consequences of unequal economic conditions on national election results? In this study, we use extraordinarily granular economic data measured without sampling error to assess how variation in local economic conditions across 3152 settlements affects incumbent support across the two most recent Hungarian elections. In addition, we use...
Article
How well does public policy represent mass preferences in U.S. states? Current approaches provide an incomplete account of statehouse democracy because they fail to compare preferences and policies on meaningful scales. Here, we overcome this problem by generating estimates of Americans' preferences on the minimum wage and compare them to observed...
Article
What happens after issue frames shape public opinion? We offer an account of the downstream effects of issue frames on candidate choice. We then use three studies combining issue framing experiments with conjoint candidate choice experiments to directly assess these downstream effects. Despite an ideal setting for elite influence on public opinion,...
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Full-text available
We report the results of an intervention that targeted anti-Roma sentiment in Hungary using an online perspective-taking game. We evaluated the impact of this intervention using a randomized experiment in which a sample of young adults played this perspective-taking game, or an unrelated online game. Participation in the perspective-taking game mar...
Article
Weighting techniques are employed to generalize results from survey experiments to populations of theoretical and substantive interest. Although weighting is often viewed as a second-order methodological issue, these adjustment methods invoke untestable assumptions about the nature of sample selection and potential heterogeneity in the treatment ef...
Article
Can politicians use targeted messages to offset position taking that would otherwise reduce their public support? We examine the effect of a politician’s justification for their tax policy stance on public opinion and identify limits on the ability of justifications to generate leeway for incongruent position taking on this issue. We draw on politi...
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Theoretical and empirical models describing how voters form perceptions of political candidates assume that such perceptions are independent of each other, even though decades of evidence in cognitive science have shown that context influences the perceptions of various stimuli. In this research note, we argue that such perceptions depend on the fu...
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While it is well understood that policy suggestions outside the range of mainstream debate are prevalent in various policy domains of American politics, their effects remain unexplored. In this paper, we suggest that proposing policies far from the political mainstream can re-structure voter perceptions of where alternatives lie in the ideological...
Article
We explore the effect of economic hardship on the identification with a disadvantaged ethnic minority using longitudinal data on 10,000 adolescents in Hungary. Fixed-effects and first-differenced panel models show that adolescents having Roma descent are more likely to identify as Roma when their families experience economic hardship, an effect str...
Article
Using comparable measures of policy and public opinion about the progressivity of state taxes, we estimate the relationship between citizen preferences and policy both across and within US states. We show that even though policy is highly responsive to public opinion (more liberal states have more progressive taxes), citizens are not represented be...
Article
Many scholars have raised concerns about the credibility of empirical findings in psychology, arguing that the proportion of false positives reported in the published literature dramatically exceeds the rate implied by standard significance levels. A major contributor of false positives is the practice of reporting a subset of the potentially relev...
Article
The accuracy of published findings is compromised when researchers fail to report and adjust for multiple testing. Preregistration of studies and the requirement of preanalysis plans for publication are two proposed solutions to combat this problem. Some have raised concerns that such changes in research practice may hinder inductive learning. Howe...
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The relationship between economic conditions and political behavior has received great attention for several decades. While it is widely accepted that incumbents are more likely to get reelected when the economy performs better, some methodological challenges have made it difficult to test this theory on survey data. This article reports on a serie...
Article
We studied publication bias in the social sciences by analyzing a known population of conducted studies—221 in total—in which there is a full accounting of what is published and unpublished. We leveraged Time-sharing Experiments in the Social Sciences (TESS), a National Science Foundation–sponsored program in which researchers propose survey-based...
Article
We studied publication bias in the social sciences by analyzing a known population of conducted studies—221 in total—in which there is a full accounting of what is published and unpublished. We leveraged Time-sharing Experiments in the Social Sciences (TESS), a National Science Foundation–sponsored program in which researchers propose survey-based...
Article
This paper reports the findings from an analysis of the ethnic identification choices of adolescents in Hungary. Using a representative panel survey of adolescents in Hungary we test the hypothesis that poverty shapes how adolescents identify and conditions the transmission of identification in families. Our results indicate that Roma identificatio...
Article
Politicians regularly communicate their policy positions to the public. These statements are rarely a simple description of the politician’s stance on an issue. Rather, legislators typically offer both a positional cue informing the public of what position they take and a policy justification stating why they take that position. In this study we us...
Article
Full-text available
We propose a new method to test for the existence of the bandwagon effect, the notion that voters are more likely to vote for a given candidate if they expect the candidate to win. Two-round election systems with a large number of single-member districts offer an ideal testing ground because results from the first round provide a better benchmark f...
Article
This study aims at contributing to the literature on the effect of political competition on electoral participation. I test the Downsian Closeness Hypothesis (DCH) on data from runoffs in general elections in Hungary. The expected closeness of the runoffs is proxied with first round margins of victory. The findings of the paper are consistent with...

Citations

... Citizens may downplay dirty campaigning by their most favored party and overrate dirty campaigning by their least favorite party, which can amplify partisan biased information processing (Taber & Lodge, 2006). Citizens may also adopt a partisan "double standard" by forgiving norm-violating behavior and democratic transgressions of their most favorite party compared to other parties (Graham & Svolik, 2020;Simonovits et al., 2022). ...
... Since 2006 several field experiments have been carried out in Hungary, mostly to explore the mechanisms of discrimination in the labour market against various vulnerable social groups, i.e. the Roma, overweight people, and people with disabilities (Pálosi et al., 2007;Sik & Simonovits, 2008). Most recently discrimination by local governments was studied using randomized field experiments Simonovits et al., 2021). ...
... When we observe the latter three characteristics (gender, age and material status), it can be noticed that these individuals/partcipants belong vulnerable social categories. This confirms the fact that it is precisely the vulnerable social groups that have greater sensitivity not only for their own, but also for other vulnerable groups (Lane, 2001;Lee et al., 2004;Bor and Simonovits, 2021). Nevertheless, in general, the majority of citizens attribute homelessness to life circumstances, which primarily refers to impaired health, substance abuse or loan debts. ...
... Others have found no significant evidence of a connection and have cautioned that affective polarization is a concept best confined to understanding social interactions (Broockman, Kalla, and Westwood 2020;Touchton, Klofstad, and Uscinski 2020). Some studies have found mixed support, with polarization impacting some democratic principles and not others (Carey et al. 2020;McCoy, Simonovits, and Littvay 2020). And others still have found polarization to have an asymmetric impact with Republicans displaying greater effects of partisan bias than Democrats (Bartels 2020;Carey et al. 2019;Stolle, Gidengil, and Bergeron-Boutin 2019). ...
... Partisanship and political polarization have been identified as two of the major reasons behind the "democratic hypocrisy" in the US (Graham & Svolik, 2020;McCoy et al., 2020). The hypocrisy entails that public commitment to democracy coexists with willingness to support politicians who would violate basic tenets of democratic rule. ...
... While p-hacking may occur within studies, entire studies may be suppressed by editors, reviewers, or the authors themselves, if, for example, publication is deemed unlikely due to a lack of statistically significant findings. Such selective reporting at the study level is known as the file-drawer problem or publication bias (Franco et al. 2014;Rosenthal 1979). Several studies have diagnosed the presence of selective reporting in multiple scientific fields, including economics Ioannidis et al. 2017), management (Harrison et al. 2017;Baum and Bromiley 2019;Rost and Ehrmann 2017), innovation research (Bruns et al. 2019), impact evaluation studies (Vivalt 2019), political science and sociology (Gerber andMalhotra, 2008a, 2008b), and the biomedical sciences (Turner et al. 2008;Albarqouni et al. 2017). ...
... A rich literature has investigated the behavior of U.S. state governments. One important area of focus has been the relationship between public opinion on the one hand and state legislative votes and policy outcomes on the other (Caughey and Warshaw 2018;Erikson, Wright, and McIver 1993;Flavin and Franko 2017;Gay 2007;Lax and Phillips 2009;Pacheco 2013;Rogers 2017;Simonovits, Guess, and Nagler 2019), including whether state governmental responsiveness to the mass public is affected by the influence of concentrated interest groups and wealthy individuals (Anzia 2011;Hertel-Fernandez 2014;Rigby and Wright 2013). An additional large body of research has asked how state electoral policies affect participation (e.g., Burden et al. 2014;Gerber, Huber, and Hill 2013). ...
... A frame could be embedded at the level of words, as-conducted in research labs (e.g., Iyengar, 1990); some have been conducted in classrooms (e.g., McLeod & Detenber, 1999); and especially in the last couple of decades, more and more studies have been conducted using experiments embedded in online surveys (e.g., de Vreese et al., 2011). Many of these studies have used convenience and student samples (e.g., Chong & Druckman, 2007a), while others have been conducted with the assistance of research suppliers who provide access to pre-recruited online panels that provide a more diverse, if not entirely representative audience of respondents (e.g., Peterson & Simonovits, 2018). ...
... The intuition behind this strategy is simple: voters living in areas with high unemployment will tend to believe the general unemployment rate is higher than will voters living in areas with low unemployment. The link between the local economic context and voting patterns is well-documented (Simonovits et al. 2018;Park and Reeves 2018;Reeves and Gimpel 2012;Elinder 2010;Ansolabehere et al. 2014;Hansford and Gomez 2015;Simonovits et al. 2018). Nevertheless, how local is local enough for voters? ...
... In this context of moral education, it is especially important to identify strategies that encourage the privileged to better understand the structural plight of the oppressed. Consider in this vein a preregistered study that tested the effects of a twenty-minute, online "choose-your-own-adventure" game, in which Hungarians in their mid-20s occupied the perspective of an individual in the comparatively marginalized Hungarian Roma minority (Simonovits et al. 2018). Both immediately after the game and at least one month later, participants reported much less anti-Roma prejudice, as well as less prejudice toward another social group (refugees) who were not mentioned in the game. ...