“Effects of Photo ID Laws on Registration and Turnout: Evidence from Rhode Island,” Justine Hastings, Brown University

Event time: 
Thursday, February 1, 2018 - 12:00pm to 1:15pm
Institution for Social and Policy Studies (PROS077 ), A002 See map
77 Prospect Street
New Haven, CT 06511
Event description: 


Abstract: We study the effect of photo ID laws on voting using a difference-in-differences estimation approach around Rhode Island’s implementation of a photo ID law. We employ anonymized administrative data to measure the law’s impact by comparing voting behavior among those with driver’s licenses versus those without, before versus after the law. Turnout, registration, and voting conditional on registration fell for those without licenses after the law passed. We do not find evidence that people proactively obtained licenses in anticipation of the law, nor do we find that they substituted towards mail ballots which do not require a photo ID.

Justine S. Hastings is a Professor of Economics and International and Public Affairs at Brown University, and a Research Associate with the National Bureau of Economic Research. Professor Hastings’ research expertise spans in Industrial Organization and Public Economics. She has conducted academic research on topics such as market structure and competition, environment and energy regulation, advertising and consumer protection, consumer financial markets, health care, and markets for higher education. Her research employs diverse empirical techniques including field experiments, survey analysis, machine learning, predictive analytics, analysis of large administrative datasets, and structural demand and supply estimation.

Professor Hastings has served as an expert advisor on the Academic Research Council to the United States Federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. She is the founding director of the Rhode Island Innovative Policy Lab, a collaboration with the government of Rhode Island to use data and economics to impact policy and improve lives. She has served as the Managing Editor for the International Journal on Industrial Organization, an Editorial Board member of the Journal of Economic Literature, and a Co-Editor for the Journal of Public Economics.

This workshop series is being sponsored by the ISPS Center for the Study of American Politics and The Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale with support from the Edward J. and Dorothy Clarke Kempf Fund.

Open to: 
General Public