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Daniel Rubenson
Daniel Rubenson
Associate Professor, Department of Politics, Ryerson University

Daniel Rubenson

  Daniel Rubenson

I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Politics at Ryerson University in Toronto. My main research and teaching interests are in the areas of political behaviour, voting, public opinion, experimentation, leadership and political communication. For my CV, click here.

On these pages you can find information on my research and teaching, download papers and check out links to some other interesting pages. My ongoing research projects mostly use experiments to answer questions about campaign effects, leadership and political participation.


Leadership and Political Communication: Together with Torun Dewan and Macartan Humphreys, I am engaged in a project that uses a unique field experiment to test leadership and message effects. Working with the Yes campaign in the referendum on electoral system change in British Columbia, we designed an experiment that allows us to distinguish the effects of leaders from the effects of the messages leaders use. Campaigners were randomly assigned to canvass in different areas in which they delivered randomly assigned campaign messages with and without endorsements from leading public figures.

Campaign Contact and Campaign Rhetoric: With Peter Loewen, I have a series of papers examining the effects of various forms of campaign contact in different electoral settings. In one paper we use a field experiment to study the persuasive effects of direct mail from a front running candidate in the 2006 Liberal Party of Canada leadership race. In another, again using a field experiment, we randomized the reception of direct mail from both sides of the 2007 referendum campaign on electoral reform in Ontario, allowing us to analyse the persuasive and mobilizing effects of two-sided messages. Together with Arthur Spirling, we also study the persuasive power of arguments in the 2007 referendum using a unique survey experiment.


The Social and Political Effects or Rural Electrification in Sub-Saharan Africa: Together with Chris Gore, Leonard Wantchekon, Devra Moehler and Emmanuelle Auriol, this project, which is in the planning stages, uses a regression discontinuity design to look at the effects of access to electricity on outcomes such as political participation, trust, health outcomes and attitudes about crime in Uganda and Benin.

Turnout and Political Participation: My work in this area has focused on investigating the effects of racial and ethnic diversity on turnout; explaining the age gap in electoral participation; studying the partisan effects of turnout; sorting out the effects of generational replacement and political competition on declining turnout across advanced industrialised countries; and examining the effects of geographic mobility on turnout. I am a collaborator on the current Canadian Election Study, led by Patrick Fournier (PI), Fred Cutler, Stuart Soroka and Dietlind Stolle (Co-PIs). I am also starting work on a new SSHRC funded project with Jake Bowers and Cara Wong in which we will study the political effects of perceptions of communities.

The Economic, Political and Environmental Effects of Peri-Urban Property Rights: I am principal investigator of the impact evaluation of a large scale land reform project in Mongolia funded by the Millennium Challenge Corporation. The field work for the project is coordinated by a field team of IPA research associates. The project, using a randomized field experimental design, provides long term pasture land leases to groups of herders in peri-urban areas and provides key infrastructure and training to improve livestock productivity and sustainable use of the range resource. The impact evaluation of the project is studying the effects of these new property rights on herders' incomes, their political activity as well as on environmental outcomes such as land productivity and animal health.

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