Candy elasticity: Halloween experiments on public political statements

Julian Jamison, Dean Karlan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

We conducted experiments during trick-or-treating on Halloween in a predominantly liberal neighborhood in the weeks preceding the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections. We decorated one side of a house porch with McCain material in 2008 (Romney material in 2012) and the other side with Obama material. Children were asked to choose a side, with half receiving the same candy on either side and half receiving more candy to go to the McCain/Romney side. This yields a "candy elasticity" of children's political support. Results vary by age: children ages nine and older were two to three times more likely to choose the Republican candidate when offered double candy for voting Republican compared to when offered equal candy, whereas children ages eight and under were particularly sticky and did not waver in their choice of candidate despite the offer of double candy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)543-547
Number of pages5
JournalEconomic Inquiry
Volume54
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Economics and Econometrics

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