Can latent groups influence policy decisions? The case of telecommunications policy
Electoral constituencies recognize favorable policy outcomes in high- turnout jurisdictions (Key 1984 ; Hamilton 1993; Fleck 1999). In the present paper, I evaluate whether underlying institutions might provide a finer explanation of this relationship. To do so, I formally examine variation in telecommunications policy across US states. The resulting evidence is consistent with residential customers recognizing more favorable policy when institutions reduce voting’s resource cost (measured by registration rules) or increase its non-pecuniary benefit (measured by Perot-support). Measures of either force explain significantly more variation in the present data than does a measure of actual participation (i.e., turnout).
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