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

Stutzer, Alois and Matter, Ulrich. (2019) Does Public Attention Reduce the Influence of Moneyed Interests? Policy Positions on SOPA/PIPA Before and After the Internet Blackout. WWZ Working Papers, 2019 (07). Basel.

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Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/70713/

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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.
Faculties and Departments:06 Faculty of Business and Economics > Departement Wirtschaftswissenschaften > Professuren Wirtschaftswissenschaften > Politische ├ľkonomie (Stutzer)
12 Special Collections > WWZ Publications > WWZ Discussion Papers and Working Papers
UniBasel Contributors:Stutzer, Alois and Matter, Ulrich
Item Type:Working Paper
Publisher:WWZ
Number of Pages:33
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Discussion paper / Internet publication
Language:English
Last Modified:16 Aug 2019 07:59
Deposited On:05 Jun 2019 07:58

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