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Legislative Television as an Institutional Entry Barrier: The Impact of C-SPAN2 on Turnover in the U.S. Senate, 1946-1998

Frank Mixon and Kamal Upadhyaya ()

Public Choice, 2002, vol. 112, issue 3-4, 433-48

Abstract: The present study examines the impact of televised U.S. Senate sessions (by C-SPAN2) on turnover rates in the U.S. Senate over the period 1946-98. Using a theoretical model wherein political services are viewed as search/experience goods, it is argued that there are many parliamentary procedures available to U.S. Senators (e.g., filibustering, Special Order Speeches, etc.) that serve them as low-cost forms of persuasive advertising. These outlets provide opportunities for political "grandstanding" on popular issues which challengers would have to spend large sums of money to combat and/or replicate. In this way C-SPAN (potentially) serves incumbent Senators as an entry barrier. Copyright 2002 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Date: 2002
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