Mind What Your Voters Read: Media Exposure and International Economic Policy Making
29 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2014
Date Written: October 2013
We investigate the role of constituents’ preferences in shaping the voting behavior of elected representatives on immigration and trade policy. Using a novel dataset spanning the period 1986-2004, in which we match individual opinion surveys with congressmen roll call votes, we find that greater exposure to media coverage tends to increase a politician’s accountability when it comes to migration policy making, while we find no effect for trade policy. Our results thus suggest that more information on the behavior of elected officials affects decisions only when the policy issue is perceived to be salient by the electorate.
Keywords: Trade Reforms, Immigration Reforms, Individual preferences, Media exposure
JEL Classification: F22, J61
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation