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Does Corporate Political Giving Affect Consumer Behavior?

Wednesday, March 30, 2016
12:15pm – 1:30pm

Storrs Campus
Oak 438

The Department of Political Science and the Graduate Student Senate Present

The Political Science Graduate Student Association Visiting Lecture Series

Risky Business: Does Corporate Political Giving Affect Consumer Behavior?

Donald P. Green Department of Political Science Columbia University

Wednesday, March 30 12:15-1:30 Oak 438

Free and Open to the Public

About the Talk: To what extent do consumers’ preferences change when they learn about firms’ partisan allegiances? We address this question by conducting a series of survey experiments in which respondents are exposed to factual information about which large national chains donated money to the parties through their PACs. This information was conveyed subtly via a trivia quiz in which just one question was randomly varied to convey information about political contributions. Respondents were told the correct answer to each question. Outcomes were measured though a revealed consumer preference: respondents were invited to participate in a raffle for a $10 gift card and asked which store or restaurant’s gift card they would like to receive if they were to win the raffle. These experiments provide strong evidence that respondents who identify with a political party are more likely to select gift cards for chains whose PACs support their party and less likely to select gift cards for chains whose PACS support the opposing party. The threat of consumer reprisal may explain why firms rarely publicize the financial backing they provide to political candidates and causes.

About the Speaker: Donald P. Green (Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley, 1988) is the author of four books and more than 100 essays. Professor Green's research interests span a wide array of topics: voting behavior, partisanship, campaign finance, hate crime, and research methods. Much of his current work uses field experimentation to study the ways in which political campaigns mobilize and persuade voters. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2003 and was awarded the Heinz I. Eulau Award for best article published in the American Political Science Review during 2009. In 2010, he founded the Experimental Research section of the American Political Science Association and served as its first president. Prior to joining the Columbia faculty in 2011, he taught at Yale University, where he directed the Institution for Social and Policy Studies from 1996 to 2011. Learn more about Green and his research at

Hosted by the Political Science Graduate Student Association (with support from the Graduate Student Senate) and Department of Political Science. Graduate students are invited to join Professor Green for lunch after the talk. An RSVP for lunch is required and should be sent to Frank Griggs (

For more information, contact Danielle Wong (


Danielle Wong (

Political Science (primary), College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Graduate Student Senate, UConn Master Calendar

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