EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Differential Registration Bias in Voter File Data: A Sensitivity Analysis Approach

Brendan Nyhan, Christopher Skovron and Rocio Titiunik ()

American Journal of Political Science, 2017, vol. 61, issue 3, 744-760

Abstract: The widespread availability of voter files has improved the study of participation in American politics, but the lack of comprehensive data on nonregistrants creates difficult inferential issues. Most notably, observational studies that examine turnout rates among registrants often implicitly condition on registration, a posttreatment variable that can induce bias if the treatment of interest also affects the likelihood of registration. We introduce a sensitivity analysis to assess the potential bias induced by this problem, which we call differential registration bias. Our approach is most helpful for studies that estimate turnout among registrants using posttreatment registration data, but it is also valuable for studies that estimate turnout among the voting‐eligible population using secondary sources. We illustrate our approach with two studies of voting eligibility effects on subsequent turnout among young voters. In both cases, eligibility appears to decrease turnout, but these effects are found to be highly sensitive to differential registration bias.

Date: 2017
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
https://doi.org/10.1111/ajps.12288

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:wly:amposc:v:61:y:2017:i:3:p:744-760

Access Statistics for this article

More articles in American Journal of Political Science from John Wiley & Sons
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Wiley Content Delivery ().

 
Page updated 2020-09-27
Handle: RePEc:wly:amposc:v:61:y:2017:i:3:p:744-760