Title

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

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

9-1-2002

Department

Political Science, International Development, and International Affairs

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 1946-1998. 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.

Publication Title

Public Choice

Volume

112

Issue

3-4

First Page

433

Last Page

448