Public Accountability and Political Participation: Effects of a Face-to-Face Feedback Intervention on Voter Turnout of Public Housing Residents

Public Accountability and Political Participation: Effects of a Face-to-Face Feedback... Low turnout among the urban poor has implications for democratic representation. The fact that turnout among the economically disadvantaged is especially low in municipal elections means that citizens most in need of services provided at the local level may not be represented in policy decisions that affect their daily lives. This paper reports the results of an experiment that compares the effects of two voter mobilization interventions: traditional canvassing appeals and face-to-face exchanges in which canvassers distribute a feedback intervention consisting of printed records of individual voter histories. In contrast to previous studies, this experiment measures the effectiveness of using social pressure to mobilize turnout among relatively infrequent voters in a low salience election. The campaign was implemented by a credible tenant advocacy organization within the context of a municipal election; the sample consisted of registered voters in two Boston public housing developments. I find that the feedback intervention dramatically increased voter turnout. Turnout among those reached by canvassers with voter histories was approximately 15–18 percentage points higher than turnout in the control group, an effect that is approximately 10 percentage points larger in magnitude than that of standard face-to-face mobilization. Political Behavior Springer Journals

Public Accountability and Political Participation: Effects of a Face-to-Face Feedback Intervention on Voter Turnout of Public Housing Residents

Loading next page...
Springer US
Copyright © 2010 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Political Science and International Relations; Political Science; Sociology, general
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site


You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.

DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 12 million articles from more than
10,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Unlimited reading

Read as many articles as you need. Full articles with original layout, charts and figures. Read online, from anywhere.

Stay up to date

Keep up with your field with Personalized Recommendations and Follow Journals to get automatic updates.

Organize your research

It’s easy to organize your research with our built-in tools.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

Monthly Plan

  • Read unlimited articles
  • Personalized recommendations
  • No expiration
  • Print 20 pages per month
  • 20% off on PDF purchases
  • Organize your research
  • Get updates on your journals and topic searches


Start Free Trial

14-day Free Trial

Best Deal — 39% off

Annual Plan

  • All the features of the Professional Plan, but for 39% off!
  • Billed annually
  • No expiration
  • For the normal price of 10 articles elsewhere, you get one full year of unlimited access to articles.



billed annually
Start Free Trial

14-day Free Trial