IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/bsl/wpaper/2019-07.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Does Public Attention Reduce the Influence of Moneyed Interests? Policy Positions on SOPA/PIPA Before and After the Internet Blackout

Author

Listed:
  • Stutzer, Alois

    () (University of Basel)

  • Matter, Ulrich

    () (University of Basel)

Abstract

We investigate the role of public attention in determining the effect that campaign contributions by interest groups have on legislators' policy positions. We exploit the shock in public attention induced by the Internet service blackout of January 2012 that increased the salience of the SOPA/PIPA bills aimed at stronger protection of property rights on the Internet. Using a new dataset of U.S. congressmen's public statements, we find a strong statistical relationship between campaign contributions funded by the affected industries and legislators' positions. However, this relationship evaporates once the two bills become primary policy issues. Our results are consistent with the notion that legislators choose positions on secondary policy issues in order to cater to organized interests, whereas positions on primary policy issues are driven by electoral support.

Suggested Citation

  • Stutzer, Alois & Matter, Ulrich, 2019. "Does Public Attention Reduce the Influence of Moneyed Interests? Policy Positions on SOPA/PIPA Before and After the Internet Blackout," Working papers 2019/07, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
  • Handle: RePEc:bsl:wpaper:2019/07
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/70713/1/20190528094830_5cece7ce40f1f.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bonica, Adam, 2016. "Avenues of influence: on the political expenditures of corporations and their directors and executives," Business and Politics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 18(4), pages 367-394, December.
    2. Stephen Ansolabehere & John M. de Figueiredo & James M. Snyder Jr, 2003. "Why is There so Little Money in U.S. Politics?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(1), pages 105-130, Winter.
    3. Jörg L Spenkuch & David Toniatti, 2018. "Political Advertising and Election Results," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 133(4), pages 1981-2036.
    4. Peter Aranson & Melvin Hinich, 1979. "Some aspects of the political economy of election campaign contribution laws," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 34(3), pages 435-461, September.
    5. Laurent Bouton & Paola Conconi & Francisco Pino & Maurizio Zanardi, 2018. "Guns, Environment, and Abortion: How Single-Minded Voters Shape Politicians' Decisions," Working Papers wp459, University of Chile, Department of Economics.
    6. Hanming Fang & Dmitry Shapiro & Arthur Zillante, 2016. "An Experimental Study Of Alternative Campaign Finance Systems: Transparency, Donations, And Policy Choices," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 54(1), pages 485-507, January.
    7. John A. List & Daniel M. Sturm, 2006. "How Elections Matter: Theory and Evidence from Environmental Policy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1249-1281.
    8. Ruben Durante & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2018. "Attack When the World Is Not Watching? US News and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 126(3), pages 1085-1133.
    9. Thomas Eisensee & David Strömberg, 2007. "News Droughts, News Floods, and U. S. Disaster Relief," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(2), pages 693-728.
    10. Jacobson, Gary C., 1978. "The Effects of Campaign Spending in Congressional Elections," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 72(2), pages 469-491, June.
    11. Stratmann, Thomas, 2002. "Can Special Interests Buy Congressional Votes? Evidence from Financial Services Legislation," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(2), pages 345-373, October.
    12. Gerber, Alan, 1998. "Estimating the Effect of Campaign Spending on Senate Election Outcomes Using Instrumental Variables," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 92(2), pages 401-411, June.
    13. Austen-Smith, David, 1995. "Campaign Contributions and Access," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 89(3), pages 566-581, September.
    14. Fox, John & Hong, Jangman, 2009. "Effect Displays in R for Multinomial and Proportional-Odds Logit Models: Extensions to the effects Package," Journal of Statistical Software, Foundation for Open Access Statistics, vol. 32(i01).
    15. Garz, Marcel & Sörensen, Jil, 2017. "Politicians under investigation: The news Media's effect on the likelihood of resignation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 82-91.
    16. Bronars, Stephen G & Lott, John R, Jr, 1997. "Do Campaign Donations Alter How a Politician Votes? Or, Do Donors Support Candidates Who Value the Same Things That They Do?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 40(2), pages 317-350, October.
    17. James B. Kau & Donald Keenan & Paul H. Rubin, 1982. "A General Equilibrium Model of Congressional Voting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 97(2), pages 271-293.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Balles, Patrick & Matter, Ulrich & Stutzer, Alois, 2018. "Special Interest Groups Versus Voters and the Political Economics of Attention," Economics Working Paper Series 1813, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
    2. Thomas Stratmann, 2005. "Some talk: Money in politics. A (partial) review of the literature," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 124(1), pages 135-156, July.
    3. Ulrich Matter & Michaela Slotwinski, 2016. "Precise Control over Legislative Vote Outcomes: A Forensic Approach to Political Economics," CESifo Working Paper Series 6007, CESifo.
    4. Yasmine Bekkouche & Julia Cage, 2019. "The Heterogeneous Price of a Vote: Evidence from France, 1993-2014," Sciences Po publications 2019-09, Sciences Po.
    5. Bombardini, Matilde & Trebbi, Francesco, 2011. "Votes or money? Theory and evidence from the US Congress," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7-8), pages 587-611, August.
    6. Ulrich Matter & Paolo Roberti & Michaela Slotwinski, 2019. "Vote Buying in the US Congress," CESifo Working Paper Series 7841, CESifo.
    7. Bekkouche, Yasmine & Cagé, Julia & Dewitte, Edgard, 2020. "The Heterogeneous Price of a Vote: Evidence from Multiparty Systems, 1993-2017," CEPR Discussion Papers 15150, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Poire, Alejandro, 2006. "Elements for a Theory of Political Finance," Working Paper Series rwp06-014, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    9. Ovtchinnikov, Alexei V. & Pantaleoni, Eva, 2012. "Individual political contributions and firm performance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(2), pages 367-392.
    10. Thomas Stratmann, 2006. "Contribution limits and the effectiveness of campaign spending," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 129(3), pages 461-474, December.
    11. Thomas Bassetti & Filippo Pavesi, 2012. "Deep Pockets, Extreme Preferences: Interest Groups and Campaign Finance Contributions," Working Papers 222, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Apr 2012.
    12. Jetter, Michael & Walker, Jay K., 2018. "The Effect of Media Coverage on Mass Shootings," IZA Discussion Papers 11900, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    13. Garz, Marcel & Pagels, Verena, 2018. "Cautionary tales: Celebrities, the news media, and participation in tax amnesties," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 155(C), pages 288-300.
    14. Jayachandran, Seema, 2006. "The Jeffords Effect," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(2), pages 397-425, October.
    15. Thomas Bassetti & Filippo Pavesi, 2017. "Electoral Contributions And The Cost Of Unpopularity," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 55(4), pages 1771-1791, October.
    16. Pinar Yildirim & Andrei Simonov & Maria Petrova & Ricardo Perez-Truglia, 2020. "Are Political and Charitable Giving Substitutes? Evidence from the United States," NBER Working Papers 26616, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Atif Mian & Amir Sufi & Francesco Trebbi, 2010. "The Political Economy of the US Mortgage Default Crisis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(5), pages 1967-1998, December.
    18. Stephen Ansolabehere & John M. de Figueiredo & James M. Snyder Jr, 2003. "Why is There so Little Money in U.S. Politics?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(1), pages 105-130, Winter.
    19. Dharmapala, Dhammika & Palda, Filip, 2002. "Are Campaign Contributions a Form of Speech? Evidence from Recent US House Elections," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 112(1-2), pages 81-114, July.
    20. Ansolabehere, Stephen & De Figueiredo, John M. & Snyder, James M., 2003. "Are Campaign Contributions Investment in the Political Marketplace or Individual Consumption? Or "Why Is There So Little Money in Politics?"," Working papers 4272-02, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Campaign finance; public attention; outside lobbying; Internet governance; mass media; policy positions; interest groups;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bsl:wpaper:2019/07. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (WWZ). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/wwzbsch.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.