David Broockman

Assistant Professor of Political Economy, Graduate School of Business, Stanford University
Areas of Expertise:
  • Civic Engagement
  • Voting
  • Race & Ethnicity

About David

Broockman's research considers how voters and politicians decide, generally using field experiments and other approaches that allow for rigorous causal inferences to be drawn. Broockman’s published academic work spans the topics of public opinion, voter behavior, and research methodology. During his career in the private sector, Brookman designed and implemented field experiments at the AFL-CIO, the Analyst Institute, Google, and CREDO Action.



"The Causal Effects of Elite Position-Taking on Voter Attitudes: Field Experiments with Elite Communication" American Journal of Political Science 61, no. 1 (2017): 208-221.

Tests theories of how politicians are constrained or unconstrained by, and interact with, public opinion. 

"Do Female Politicians Empower Women to Vote or Run for Office? A Regression Discontinuity Approach" Electoral Studies 34 (2014): 190-204.

Finds that the election of additional women in competitive US state legislative elections has no discernible causal effects on other women's political participation at the mass or elite levels. 

"Campaign Contributions Facilitate Access to Congressional Officials: A Randomized Field Experiment" (with Joshua Kalla). American Journal of Political Science 60, no. 3 (2016): 545-558.

Argues that members of Congress grant preferential access to purported political donors over concerned constituents. Is the first experimental demonstration of the biasing role of money in politics.

"What Politicians Believe about Their Constituents: Asymmetric Misperceptions and Prospects for Constituency Control," (with Christopher Skovron), University of California, Berkeley, February 28, 2013.
Shows that politicians are typically ignorant of constituency opinion and salient issues in their districts and, moreover, typically overestimate the conservatism of their constituents. Conservative politicians’ errors are particularly egregious, overestimating their constituents’ conservatism by around 20 percentage points on average.
"Black Politicians are More Intrinsically Motivated to Advance Blacks’ Interests" American Journal of Political Science 57, no. 3 (2013): 521-536.

Employs a unique experimental design to demonstrate that black politicians are more intrinsically motivated to represent blacks’ interests than are whites. When the incentives of politicians to respond to a putative request from a black individual are experimentally reduced, black politicians generally continue to provide representation though white politicians generally do not.

In the News

"Persuading Voters is Hard. That Doesn’t Mean Campaigns Should Give Up.," David Broockman (with Joshua Kalla), The Washington Post, October 11, 2017.
David Broockman's research on changing voter behavior discussed in Dylan MatthewsDavid Broockman (with Joshua Kalla), "A Massive New Study Reviews the Evidence on Whether Campaigning Works. The Answer's Bleak.," Vox, September 28, 2017.
David Broockman's research on changing voter behavior discussed in Emma GreenDavid Broockman (with Joshua Kalla), "Most Campaign Outreach Has Zero Effect on Voters," The Atlantic, September 30, 2017.
David Broockman's research on American politicians’ perceptions of their constituents’ opinions discussed in Dana NuccitelliDavid Broockman (with Christopher Skovron), "On Climate Change and Elsewhere, Politicians More Conservative than Citizens," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, July 24, 2017.
on KCUR, David Broockman, June 14, 2017.
"G.O.P. Senators Might Not Realize It, but Not One State Supports the A.H.C.A.," David Broockman (with Christopher Warshaw), New York Times, June 14, 2017.
David Broockman quoted on the politics of racial resentment in Dylan Matthews, "Donald Trump Has Every Reason to Keep White People Thinking about Race" Vox, November 30, 2016.
Melissa R. Michelson quoted on voter mobilization in Benoit Denizet-Lewis, "How Do You Change Voters’ Minds? Have a Conversation" New York Times Magazine, April 7, 2016.
David Broockman's research on reducing prejudice discussed in John BohannonDavid Broockman (with Joshua Kalla), "Talking to People about Gay and Transgender Issues Can Change Their Prejudices," Science Magazine, April 7, 2016.
David Broockman's research on reducing projudice discussed in Steve KolowichDavid Broockman (with Joshua Kalla), "The Researchers Who Sank a Bogus Canvassing Study Have Replicated Some of Its Findings," The Chronicle of Higher Education, April 7, 2016.
David Broockman's research on reducing prejudice discussed in Harini ShyamsundarDavid Broockman (with Joshua Kalla), "Study Shows Door-to-Door Canvassing Can Help Reduce Prejudice against Transgender People," The Daily Californian, April 11, 2016.
David Broockman quoted on changing public opinion in Brian Resnick, "These Scientists Can Prove It's Possible to Reduce Prejudice" Vox, April 8, 2016.
"How Well-Meaning Political Reformers are Helping to Elect President Trump," David Broockman, The Washington Post, March 7, 2016.
David Broockman quoted on irregularities in a recent study concerning the persuasion “effects” of canvassing in Jessie Singal, "The Case of the Amazing Gay-Marriage Data: How a Graduate Student Reluctantly Uncovered a Huge Scientific Fraud" New York Magazine, May 29, 2015.
"‘We Need to Take a Look at the Data’: How 2 Persistent Grad Students Upended a Blockbuster Study," David Broockman, Interview with Steve Kolowich, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 21, 2015.
David Broockman's research on how canvassers can change people's opinions on same-sex marriage, which debunked a highly touted study discussed in Dylan MatthewsDavid Broockman, "This Was the Biggest Political Science Study of Last Year. It Was a Complete Fraud.," Vox, May 20, 2015.
David Broockman's research on moderate voters discussed in Sam PizzigatiDavid Broockman (with Douglas Ahler), "The Peasants Still Have Their Pitchforks," Truth Out, November 15, 2014.
David Broockman's research on how politicians shape public opinion discussed in Christopher IngrahamDavid Broockman, "Study: Politicians Can Change Hearts and Minds Simply by Stating Their Views," The Washington Post, September 10, 2014.
David Broockman's research on trends in politicians' understandings of their constituents (with Christopher Skovron) discussed in Oliver BurkemanDavid Broockman, "America: A Land of Liberals Governed by Conservatives?," The Guardian, October 2, 2013.
David Broockman's research on politicians' skewed views of voter preferences (with Christopher Skovron) discussed in Michael TomaskyDavid Broockman, "How Legislators View Their Constituents," Daily Beast, September 24, 2013.
David Broockman's research on discrimination discussed in Ezra KleinDavid Broockman, "Today in Depressing Political Science," The Washington Post, May 3, 2011.
David Broockman's research on discrimination discussed in Christopher SheaDavid Broockman, "Discriminating against 'DeShawn'," Wall Street Journal, May 5, 2011.
David Broockman's research on discrimination discussed in David BrooksDavid Broockman, "Race and Response," New York Times, May 10, 2011.
David Broockman's research on online advertising discussed in Gregory FerensteinDavid Broockman, "Study: On Facebook, Money Alone Can’t Buy Political Popularity," TechCrunch, October 18, 2012.
David Broockman's research on politician’s perceptions of their constituents discussed in Sal GentileDavid Broockman, "Study: Politicians Think Voters are Way More Conservative than They Actually Are," MSNBA, March 9, 2013.