Political Issues, Evidence, and Citizen Engagement: The Case of Unequal Access to Affordable Health Care

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Authors Yanna Krupnikov, Adam Seth Levine
Journal/Conference Name THE JOURNAL OF POLITICS
Paper Category
Paper Abstract Some social and economic problems do not gain broad awareness. Yet others become prominent (and perhaps are alleviated) in part because they successfully engage the wider citizenry. In this paper, we investigate how the evidence used to describe problems affects public engagement. Using disparities in access to affordable health care—a focal aspect of economic inequality in the United States—as our main issue, we conduct a series of field and survey experiments showing how some forms of evidence reduce attitudinal and behavioral engagement while other forms increase them. Our results challenge common arguments about political communication and behavior, while also shedding new light on a central question in the study of politics: What determines when citizens become concerned about a social problem?
Date of publication 2019
Code Programming Language R
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