Mark Fredrickson: Citizen responses under election and sortition

Mark Fredrickson writes:

I am a follower of the Kleroterian blog, and I am excited to announce
that I have something to contribute. As a possible lead up to a field experiment for my dissertation (Department of Political Science, University of Illinois), I undertook a survey experiment in which subjects either read a story about an elected committee or a randomly selected committee (along with several other manipulations). I recently completed my first draft and have published a working paper: Returning to the Cradle of Democracy.

The data and computations for the analysis are also available online: election-sortition-corruption-survey-experiment.

I hope your readers find it useful, and I look forward to their feedback.

The paper’s abstract:

The hallmark of modern democracies is the competitive election. This
institution is seen as the primary connection between leaders and the population. This has not always been the case. Sortition, the random selection of leaders from the population, served as the primary institution of democracy in ancient Athens. How would citizens in a modern democracy react to the use of sortition to select leaders? This study employs a survey experiment in which subjects read about a local development grant, overseen by either an elected or randomly selected committee. I fi nd that sortition encourages more citizens to seek leadership positions, though other forms of participation remain unchanged. I also find that despite a stated preference for election, subjects see the two committees as equally capable and responsible, even when confronted with corrupt acts and closed door meetings.