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date: 26 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Political endorsements (recommendations about which candidate or policy to support) are ubiquitous in political contexts. They may come from political parties, interest groups, politicians, or even celebrities. Can uninformed citizens identify endorsers who share their interests and use their recommendations as substitutes for detailed political information? This chapter surveys the literature on the persuasion effects of political endorsements. It first provides an overview of theoretical models that examine how political endorsements affect citizens’ choices. Then, it describes a seminal observational study of how endorsements affect political persuasion. It next discusses experimental research that assesses the effects of endorsements. It emphasizes that experiments are particularly useful for identifying when political endorsements will persuade citizens because they allow scholars to manipulate the conditions that theoretical models identify in a carefully controlled environment. It concludes by discussing open questions about the effects of political endorsements and describing how ongoing research addresses them.

Keywords: endorsement, political party, persuasion, experiment, interest groups, political information

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