Peer Review Articles


Michelangelo Landgrave and Nicholas Weller. "Do Name-based Treatments Violate Information Equivalence? Evidence from a Correspondence Audit Experiment." Forthcoming in Political Analysis (2021). [Article] [Replication Files]

Name-based treatments have been used in observational studies and experiments to study the differential effect of identity – commonly race or ethnic minority status. These treatments are typically assumed to signal only a single characteristic(s). If names unintentionally signal other characteristics, then the treatment can violate information equivalence and estimated treatment effects cannot be attributed to the desired characteristic alone. Using results from a name perception study paired with an original correspondence audit experiment of U.S. state legislators, we show that names manipulate perceptions of minority status, socio-economic status (SES), and migrant status. Our audit study shows that low SES status is related to reply rates both across and within each racial category. These results provide evidence that discrimination cannot be easily attributed singularly to the intended treatment of minority status, but rather reflect a more multifaceted form of discrimination. More generally our results provide an example of how name-based treatments manipulate more than the intended characteristic, which means that estimated treatment effects cannot be interpreted as being manipulated solely by the desired characteristic. Future studies with name-based or other informational treatments should account for the potential violation of information equivalence in their research design and interpretation of results.

Michelangelo Landgrave. "How Can We Improve Graduate Training for Undocumented Students? Ethnic and Nativity-based Inequities in Political Science Graduate Education." PS: Political Science & Politics 54, no. 1 (2021): 147 - 151. [Article]

The political science discipline has increased its efforts to recruit and train minorities. While these efforts are commendable, they have primarily focused on native-born minorities. In this article I argue that undocumented students should not be forgotten in these efforts. Undocumented students are primarily Latinx and/or Asian American Island Pacific (AAPI) minorities. Addressing the inequities faced by undocumented students would benefit both communities. In this manuscript I discuss some of the intersectional inequities undocumented students experience as minority non-citizens. The discipline can help undocumented students by removing citizenship requirements where possible and creating institutional advocates for them.


Michelangelo Landgrave. "Do Politicians Ethnically Discriminate Against Hispanics? Evidence from a Field Experiment with State Legislative Offices." Legislative Studies Quarterly (2020). [Article] [Replication Files]

Legislatures are meant to represent the populace but are also racialized institutions capable of perpetuating structural disadvantages against vulnerable populations. It is necessary to periodically test if vulnerable populations are provided with equal access to legislative services. In this manuscript I test for potential ethnic discrimination against Hispanics in US state legislatures. A problem with prior studies is that Hispanicity signals both an ethnic outgroup and non-citizen status. I overcome this challenge by comparing migrant Hispanics with migrant whites. I find that Hispanics and whites receive similar constituency service, as measured by reply rate and reply content, but I find that legislators are less likely to acquire information about Hispanic constituents. I advance the existing Hispanic literature by providing a clean comparison between Hispanics and whites with similar nativity backgrounds. I advance the study of discrimination by showcasing best practices for future studies of discrimination.

Michelangelo Landgrave. "Can We Reduce Deception in Elite Field Experiments? Evidence from a Field Experiment with State Legislative Offices." State Politics & Policy Quarterly 20, no. 4 (2020): 489-507. [Article] [Replication Files]

The use of deception is common in elite correspondence audit studies. Elite audit studies are a type of field experiment used by researchers to test for discrimination against vulnerable populations seeking to access government resources. These studies have provided invaluable insights, but they have done so at the cost of using deception. They have relied on identity, activity, and motivation deception. In addition, they request unnecessary work. Is there a less deceptive alternative? In this article, I present results from a field experiment with state legislative offices that minimize the use of deception. Consistent with elite correspondence audit studies, I find evidence of discrimination against Hispanics among state legislative offices. In addition, I find that discrimination is mitigated when subjects believe their behavior will be public knowledge. This suggests that discrimination can be mitigated through increased monitoring. This article advances the discussion on how to minimize the use of deception in elite field experimentation and how to mitigate discrimination against vulnerable populations.

Michelangelo Landgrave and Nicholas Weller. "Do More Professionalized Legislatures Discriminate Less? The Role of Staffers in Constituency Service." American Politics Research 48, no. 5 (2020): 571–78. [Article] [Replication Files]

Research suggests that organizational structure can influence the ability of actors to discriminate. In this research note, we examine whether the structure of state legislatures affects observed discrimination in correspondent audit studies. We find that increased legislative professionalization is associated with reduced discrimination against racial minorities. By analyzing thousands of emails collected in a prior study, we find that legislative professionalization is related to a higher likelihood that staffers respond to email contacts and staffers are less likely to discriminate against racial minorities across multiple measures of discrimination. Our findings emphasize the importance of substantively relevant heterogeneity in audit studies and identify a potential mitigator of discrimination—legislative professionalism. Our results also highlight the importance of staffers in representation and the legislative process.

Nicholas R. Jenkins, Michelangelo Landgrave, and Gabriel E. Martinez. "Do campaign contributions facilitate access to government information? Evidence from a FOIA Compliance Field Experiment with US Municipalities." Journal of Behavioral Public Administration 3, no. 2 (2020). [Article] [Replication Files: OSF, Harvard Dataverse]

Whether political donors have greater access to government officials is a perennial question in politics. Using a freedom of information act (FOIA) compliance field experiment with US municipalities in California, Texas, Florida, New York and Pennsylvania, we fail to find evidence that political donors have greater access to government officials compared to engaged citizens. We contribute to the lobbying literature by testing for preferential treatment towards political donors in municipal government. Consistent with the extant FOIA literature, we do find that a formal FOIA request increases compliance rates and decreases wait time before an initial reply. This is an important contribution because, although many polities have FOIA laws, it cannot be taken for granted that FOIA laws will lead to transparency in practice. Testing the effectiveness of FOIA laws in the US is particularly important because state laws vary substantially.


Andrew C. Forrester, Benjamin Powell, Alex Nowrasteh and Michelangelo Landgrave. "Do Immigrants Import Terrorism?" Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 166 (2019): 529-543. [Article]

The relationship between immigration and terrorism is an important public policy concern. Using bilateral migration data for 170 countries from 1990 to 2015, we estimate the relationship between levels of immigration and terrorism using an instrumental variables (IV) strategy based on the decades prior stocks of immigrants in destination countries. We specifically investigate rates of immigration from Muslim majority countries and countries involved in armed conflicts. We find no relationship between immigration and terrorism, whether measured by the number of attacks or victims, in destination countries.