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Are legislative TV and campaign finance regulations complementary entry barriers? Evidence from the USA

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The present study examines the political use of legislative television and campaign finance restrictions as either complementary or substitutable forms of entry barriers using data from the 50 states for 1976. Results from a simultaneous probit procedure indicate that where campaign finance regulations are relaxed, demand for televised house sessions is increased. Results also suggest that the presence of televised proceedings increases the restrictiveness of a state's campaign finance rules, thus supporting the hypothesis that legislative television and campaign finance restrictions serve incumbent legislators as complementary institutional entry barriers. 'Successful politicians must use television and compete with popular culture for audience attention. Leaders therefore court voters by entertaining them and making them feel good. This strategy may increase popularity and win votes …' ( Cowen, 2000 ). 'All 50 states now regulate lobbyists to some degree. A public interest view of this regulation would suggest that the result would be that legislation would take more account of the general welfare and less account of private interests. However, keeping in mind that legislatures pass lobbying regulations, an economic model of regulation would suggest that lobbying regulations would be designed to benefit those in the legislature.' ( Brinig et al ., 1993 ).

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Graduate School of Management The University of Southern Mississippi Hattiesburg MS 39406 USA

Publication date: March 1, 2005

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