Disclaimer. Don't rely on these old notes in lieu of reading the literature, but they can jog your memory. As a grad student long ago, my peers and I collaborated to write and exchange summaries of political science research. I posted them to a wiki-style website. "Wikisum" is now dead but archived here. I cannot vouch for these notes' accuracy, nor can I even say who wrote them. If you have more recent summaries to add to this collection, send them my way I guess. Sorry for the ads; they cover the costs of keeping this online.
Marshall. 1978. Turnout and representation: Caucuses versus primaries. American Journal of Political Science 22:169-182.
RESEARCH QUESTION: Are caucuses less representative than primaries?
DESIGN: Minnesota uses caucuses for presidential nominees, primaries for everything else. Marshall compares both groups to one another and to the general election voters. He wants to establish that caucuses are no less representative than primaries.
FINDINGS: No. They are not. Demographically, caucuses are somewhat worse. But ideologically, caucuses perform about as well [poorly, actually] as primaries. Both primaries and caucuses attract higher educated, wealther, and generally higher status people.
Using survey data, he looks for significant differences between (1) (Democratic) caucus attendees and Democratic general voters and (2) (Democratic) primary voters and Democratic general election voters.
Although the findings are interesting, Marshall downplays the differences between caucuses and primaries. His own data suggest that caucuses are less representative than primaries.
Research on similar subjects