DP11282 Mind what your voters read: Media exposure and international economic policy making
We investigate how media exposure affects elected representatives’ response to preferences
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.