Working Papers



Strategic Voting and Ballot Order Effects
October 2017

Substantial evidence suggests ballot order matters, e.g., candidates win 10% more elections just for being listed first on ballots. While the standard explanation for this phenomenon is purely behavioral in that voters' choices are directly affected by ballot order, little is known empirically about the cause of such order effects. In my paper, I provide new stylized facts on how ballot order effects change with the number of votes a voter may cast and a candidate's popularity. I show that these patterns are inconsistent with the intuition of the leading models in the literature. To explain these findings, I offer a novel theory where rational voters respond to behavioral voters and then amplify the advantage of candidates listed first due to the inherent strategic complementarity in voting. My model is starkly different from the literature in that order effects are partially caused by rational behavior rather than being purely behavioral. I show that my theory fits the data better than alternative models and find that the novel strategic order effects are empirically important: they account for around 50% of all votes first-listed candidates gained just for being listed first, significantly increase the number of elections first-listed candidates win, and substantially reduce the number of behavioral voters necessary to explain the data. Based on these findings, I suggest a new policy to combat ballot order effects.

Voting Behavior, Newspapers, and Language [.pdf]
November 2015

This paper investigates how newspaper consumption affects political engagement. To circumvent potential endogeneity issues, I use variation in European languages as an instrument for newspaper consumption. Specifically, I consider variation in how much physical space languages require to express some given information content. I first estimate such language efficiency from large bilingual text compilations. Using a European-wide survey that spans 18 different languages, I find that respondents who speak efficient languages are more likely to read newspapers, as is consistent with this mechanism. This finding is robust to a large variety of alternative specifications. Using language efficiency as an instrument for newspaper consumption, I find that newspaper consumption increases turnout and political interest of immigrants.

Measuring Communication Quality in Behavioral Health: Development of the Provider Communication in Behavioral Health (PCBH) Coding System
May 2017 with K. Johnson, J. Hall, A. Franco, P. Shrout, O. Nakash, and M. Alegria

The Association Between Patient-Provider Ethnic Match, Quality of Communication and Length of Treatment in Behavioral Health Settings
June 2017 with A. Chang, O. Nakash, and M. Alegria

The Effect of Change in Patient Activation on Mental Health Outcomes: A Multisite Study Among a Diverse Patient Population
June 2017 with M. Chiang, O. Nakash, J. Chang, and M. Alegria


Work in Progress



Local Robustness to Misspecification

No Trust, No Problem: An Experiment in Which Subjects Pay

Effectiveness of DECIDE Intervention on Patient-Provider Shared-Decision Making and Quality of Care in Behavioral Health with Multicultural Patients, co-authored

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