“Do Personal Issue Priorities Trump Group Policies? Exploring the Impact of Deeply-Held Issues among Latinos using Personalized Conjoint Experiments,” Yamil Velez, Columbia University

Event time: 
Wednesday, October 25, 2023 - 12:00pm to 1:15pm
Institution for Social and Policy Studies (PROS77 ), A002 See map
77 Prospect Street
New Haven, CT 06511
Event description: 


Abstract: The literature on Latino politics has emphasized the importance of immigration as a galvanizing issue for the community. Numerous studies have found that, in the aggregate, Latinos are attentive to immigration policy and oppose candidates who take restrictionist positions. However, it is unclear how Latinos make political decisions when deeply-held issue positions apart from immigration conflict with group-relevant policies. In this paper, I design a dynamic tailored conjoint experiment that leverages large language models (LLMs) to assess whether immigration or core issues elicited in an open-ended question are stronger determinants of candidate choice. I consistently find that the effects of core issue positions on candidate choice are larger than the effects of immigration stances across three online samples of Latinos conducted on CloudResearch and YouGov (n=2421). Factors such as group identity and proximity to immigration narrow - but rarely close - the gap between the two sets of issues. Implications for the literature on issue importance, cross-pressures, and Latino politics are discussed.

Yamil Ricardo Velez is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Columbia University. He earned his Ph.D. in 2015 from Stony Brook University. His research has been published in leading journals including the American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, Political Analysis, and Political Behavior. His work focuses on the immigrant experience, particularly how geography and information environments affect political engagement and incorporation. He is also interested in how beliefs and attitudes change, using new methods to improve our understanding of public opinion and political psychology.

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