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Can Gestures of Goodwill from the State Condition Attitudes in Post-Authoritarian Democracies?: A Field Experiment
Unformatted Document Text:  9 Results The popularity of field experiments can be attributed in part to the strong causal inferences they produce. Here, relying on randomized assignment of the treatment greatly enhances our ability to obtain unbiased estimates of the causal effect that gestures of goodwill have on individuals’ general willingness to incorporate into democratic life. In order to operationalize the concept of democratically relevant attitudes I use indicators of individuals’ levels of efficacy, engagement, evaluations of the government performance and prospective civil engagement in the hope that seen together a narrative can form explaining how a gesture of goodwill by a government official conditions recipients’ attitudes toward democracy. As is common when using attitudinal variables, I depend on multiple survey indicators in order to reduce measurement error for all dependent and most independent variables (Zeller and Carmines 1980). The Political Engagement Index is a combination of the following three questions: how interested in politics are you (4 point scale); how often do you talk about politics with others (5 point scale); and how closely were you following the elections (4 point scale). The internal reliability for these measures has a Cronbach’s α of .737, which is considerably high. The Efficacy Index, which is a combination of the following 2 questions: people like me don’t have a say in government; and people in government don’t care what people like me think (both based on a 1 to 4 point scale). The internal reliability for these measures has a Cronbach’s α of .569, which is not as high as expected yet well within acceptable levels. The Government Performance Index is composed of the following three questions; how satisfied are you with the work the state government is doing to improve

Authors: Nishikawa, Katsuo.
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9
Results
The popularity of field experiments can be attributed in part to the strong causal
inferences they produce. Here, relying on randomized assignment of the treatment
greatly enhances our ability to obtain unbiased estimates of the causal effect that gestures
of goodwill have on individuals’ general willingness to incorporate into democratic life.
In order to operationalize the concept of democratically relevant attitudes I use indicators
of individuals’ levels of efficacy, engagement, evaluations of the government
performance and prospective civil engagement in the hope that seen together a narrative
can form explaining how a gesture of goodwill by a government official conditions
recipients’ attitudes toward democracy. As is common when using attitudinal variables, I
depend on multiple survey indicators in order to reduce measurement error for all
dependent and most independent variables (Zeller and Carmines 1980).
The Political Engagement Index is a combination of the following three
questions: how interested in politics are you (4 point scale); how often do you talk about
politics with others (5 point scale); and how closely were you following the elections (4
point scale). The internal reliability for these measures has a Cronbach’s α of .737,
which is considerably high. The Efficacy Index, which is a combination of the following
2 questions: people like me don’t have a say in government; and people in government
don’t care what people like me think (both based on a 1 to 4 point scale). The internal
reliability for these measures has a Cronbach’s α of .569, which is not as high as expected
yet well within acceptable levels.
The Government Performance Index is composed of the following three
questions; how satisfied are you with the work the state government is doing to improve


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