How Do Rights Revolutions Occur? Free Speech and the First Amendment

TSE Working Paper No. 16-705

63 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2017 Last revised: 25 Dec 2018

See all articles by Daniel L. Chen

Daniel L. Chen

Directeur de Recherche, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Toulouse School of Economics, Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse, University of Toulouse Capitole, Toulouse, France

Susan Yeh

Charles River Associates (CRA)

Date Written: November 1, 2018

Abstract

Whether policies shift preferences is relevant to policy design. Since 1958, Democrats were more likely than Republicans to favor progressive free speech precedents, two-thirds of which referenced gay or lesbian issues. Using randomly assigned judges, we find that progressive free speech precedents liberalized sexual attitudes and behaviors, reduced child abuse, but increased asymptomatic STDs. Evidence is inconsistent with deterrence as sole mediator. An experiment documents a shift in norm perceptions, consistent with models of law and norm where laws sanctioning rare activity increase its perceived prevalence and leads to backlash, but the opposite occurs when the sanctioned activity is prevalent.





Keywords: Law and Norms, Expressive Law, Cultural Change

JEL Classification: J12, J16, Z1, N32, N42, K42

Suggested Citation

Chen, Daniel L. and Yeh, Susan, How Do Rights Revolutions Occur? Free Speech and the First Amendment (November 1, 2018). TSE Working Paper No. 16-705. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2928177

Daniel L. Chen (Contact Author)

Directeur de Recherche, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Toulouse School of Economics, Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse, University of Toulouse Capitole, Toulouse, France ( email )

21 allée de Brienne
31015 Toulouse cedex 6 France
Toulouse, 31015
France

Susan Yeh

Charles River Associates (CRA) ( email )

1201 F. St. NW
Ste. 700
Washington, DC 20004
United States

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