Media and gridlock

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Daniel F. Stone. Oregon State University. 9th Media Economics Workshop - New Economic School. October 2011.

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Media and gridlock

  1. 1. Media and Gridlock Daniel F. Stone1 9th Media Economics Workshop - New Economic School October 20111 Oregon State University
  2. 2. Political gridlock in the U.S. seems to be growing problem
  3. 3. Political gridlock in the U.S. seems to be growing problem Term only coined after 1980 elections; now a cliche
  4. 4. Political gridlock in the U.S. seems to be growing problem Term only coined after 1980 elections; now a cliche Is it really getting worse?
  5. 5. Political gridlock in the U.S. seems to be growing problem Term only coined after 1980 elections; now a cliche Is it really getting worse? Anecdotal evidence: minority parties blocked major new policy proposals (social security reform, health care reform, jobs bill?)
  6. 6. Political gridlock in the U.S. seems to be growing problem Term only coined after 1980 elections; now a cliche Is it really getting worse? Anecdotal evidence: minority parties blocked major new policy proposals (social security reform, health care reform, jobs bill?) Binder (APSR, 1999): hard evidence of increasing gridlock in 80s and 90s (term coined in 80s)
  7. 7. Political gridlock in the U.S. seems to be growing problem Term only coined after 1980 elections; now a cliche Is it really getting worse? Anecdotal evidence: minority parties blocked major new policy proposals (social security reform, health care reform, jobs bill?) Binder (APSR, 1999): hard evidence of increasing gridlock in 80s and 90s (term coined in 80s) Cloture motions way up over time, especially in last two Congresses
  8. 8. Political gridlock in the U.S. seems to be growing problem Term only coined after 1980 elections; now a cliche Is it really getting worse? Anecdotal evidence: minority parties blocked major new policy proposals (social security reform, health care reform, jobs bill?) Binder (APSR, 1999): hard evidence of increasing gridlock in 80s and 90s (term coined in 80s) Cloture motions way up over time, especially in last two Congresses
  9. 9. Cloture trends
  10. 10. Cloture trends
  11. 11. I examine the relation between media and strategicobstructionism
  12. 12. I examine the relation between media and strategicobstructionism Previous media econ lit on politics focuses on other issues (Prat and Str¨mberg, WP, 2011) o
  13. 13. I examine the relation between media and strategicobstructionism Previous media econ lit on politics focuses on other issues (Prat and Str¨mberg, WP, 2011) o I model most salient aspect of legislative process: whether minority party obstructs or not
  14. 14. I examine the relation between media and strategicobstructionism Previous media econ lit on politics focuses on other issues (Prat and Str¨mberg, WP, 2011) o I model most salient aspect of legislative process: whether minority party obstructs or not Punchline: obstructionism more effective politically with less informative media
  15. 15. I examine the relation between media and strategicobstructionism Previous media econ lit on politics focuses on other issues (Prat and Str¨mberg, WP, 2011) o I model most salient aspect of legislative process: whether minority party obstructs or not Punchline: obstructionism more effective politically with less informative media Hope also to improve understanding on other recent observed phenomena in politics, clarify gridlock/polarization causes/relation
  16. 16. Relation to poli sci lit on gridlock
  17. 17. Relation to poli sci lit on gridlock Focuses on party polarization (Layman et al, APSR, 2006) - i.e. ideology dispersion
  18. 18. Relation to poli sci lit on gridlock Focuses on party polarization (Layman et al, APSR, 2006) - i.e. ideology dispersion Can interpret my paper as highlighting necessary condition for media environment
  19. 19. Relation to poli sci lit on gridlock Focuses on party polarization (Layman et al, APSR, 2006) - i.e. ideology dispersion Can interpret my paper as highlighting necessary condition for media environment Or, as suggesting alternative explanation
  20. 20. Relation to poli sci lit on gridlock Focuses on party polarization (Layman et al, APSR, 2006) - i.e. ideology dispersion Can interpret my paper as highlighting necessary condition for media environment Or, as suggesting alternative explanation (Changing media, not ideologies, causing political behavioral change)
  21. 21. Relation to poli sci lit on gridlock Focuses on party polarization (Layman et al, APSR, 2006) - i.e. ideology dispersion Can interpret my paper as highlighting necessary condition for media environment Or, as suggesting alternative explanation (Changing media, not ideologies, causing political behavioral change) Also maybe even alternative explanation for ‘stylized fact’ of increased party polarization?
  22. 22. The model
  23. 23. The model Two parties, a majority and minority
  24. 24. The model Two parties, a majority and minority Majority proposes policy; either efficient, E , or partisan and deadweight loss, D (X ∈ {D, E })
  25. 25. The model Two parties, a majority and minority Majority proposes policy; either efficient, E , or partisan and deadweight loss, D (X ∈ {D, E }) Minority then either accepts (A) or blocks (B) (Y ∈ {A, B})
  26. 26. The model Two parties, a majority and minority Majority proposes policy; either efficient, E , or partisan and deadweight loss, D (X ∈ {D, E }) Minority then either accepts (A) or blocks (B) (Y ∈ {A, B}) Based on US system where minority party can block policy by filibuster
  27. 27. The model Two parties, a majority and minority Majority proposes policy; either efficient, E , or partisan and deadweight loss, D (X ∈ {D, E }) Minority then either accepts (A) or blocks (B) (Y ∈ {A, B}) Based on US system where minority party can block policy by filibuster X = post-bargaining proposal (bargaining process exogenous)
  28. 28. The model Two parties, a majority and minority Majority proposes policy; either efficient, E , or partisan and deadweight loss, D (X ∈ {D, E }) Minority then either accepts (A) or blocks (B) (Y ∈ {A, B}) Based on US system where minority party can block policy by filibuster X = post-bargaining proposal (bargaining process exogenous) If D accepted, partisan benefits to majority, costs to minority and society
  29. 29. The model Two parties, a majority and minority Majority proposes policy; either efficient, E , or partisan and deadweight loss, D (X ∈ {D, E }) Minority then either accepts (A) or blocks (B) (Y ∈ {A, B}) Based on US system where minority party can block policy by filibuster X = post-bargaining proposal (bargaining process exogenous) If D accepted, partisan benefits to majority, costs to minority and society If E accepted, benefits to society, no direct effects on parties
  30. 30. Before minority acts, news reports r ∈ {rD , rE }
  31. 31. Before minority acts, news reports r ∈ {rD , rE }‘Public opinion’ based on reports boiled down to policy =‘bad’/‘good’; publicly observable
  32. 32. Before minority acts, news reports r ∈ {rD , rE }‘Public opinion’ based on reports boiled down to policy =‘bad’/‘good’; publicly observableMedia environment parameterized byπ = Pr (r = rE |E ) = Pr (r = rD |D) ∈ [0.5, 1]
  33. 33. Before minority acts, news reports r ∈ {rD , rE }‘Public opinion’ based on reports boiled down to policy =‘bad’/‘good’; publicly observableMedia environment parameterized byπ = Pr (r = rE |E ) = Pr (r = rD |D) ∈ [0.5, 1]Media behavior/incentives not modeled explicitly (focus of other lit)
  34. 34. Before minority acts, news reports r ∈ {rD , rE }‘Public opinion’ based on reports boiled down to policy =‘bad’/‘good’; publicly observableMedia environment parameterized byπ = Pr (r = rE |E ) = Pr (r = rD |D) ∈ [0.5, 1]Media behavior/incentives not modeled explicitly (focus of other lit)Minority may also have private information on X
  35. 35. Key assumption (for application to recent data): newmedia environment less informative (lower π)
  36. 36. Key assumption (for application to recent data): newmedia environment less informative (lower π) As we all know, new media–cable television, Internet–have emerged, and old media (newspapers, network TV) declined
  37. 37. Key assumption (for application to recent data): newmedia environment less informative (lower π) As we all know, new media–cable television, Internet–have emerged, and old media (newspapers, network TV) declined Why less informative?
  38. 38. Key assumption (for application to recent data): newmedia environment less informative (lower π) As we all know, new media–cable television, Internet–have emerged, and old media (newspapers, network TV) declined Why less informative? 0. Only assuming for more political, ambiguous issues–not for hard facts (Gentzkow and Shapiro, 2006)
  39. 39. Key assumption (for application to recent data): newmedia environment less informative (lower π) As we all know, new media–cable television, Internet–have emerged, and old media (newspapers, network TV) declined Why less informative? 0. Only assuming for more political, ambiguous issues–not for hard facts (Gentzkow and Shapiro, 2006) 1. More partisan (Baum and Groeling, 2008)
  40. 40. Key assumption (for application to recent data): newmedia environment less informative (lower π) As we all know, new media–cable television, Internet–have emerged, and old media (newspapers, network TV) declined Why less informative? 0. Only assuming for more political, ambiguous issues–not for hard facts (Gentzkow and Shapiro, 2006) 1. More partisan (Baum and Groeling, 2008) 2. Faster news cycle, less vetting (Rosenberg and Feldman, 2008)
  41. 41. Key assumption (for application to recent data): newmedia environment less informative (lower π) As we all know, new media–cable television, Internet–have emerged, and old media (newspapers, network TV) declined Why less informative? 0. Only assuming for more political, ambiguous issues–not for hard facts (Gentzkow and Shapiro, 2006) 1. More partisan (Baum and Groeling, 2008) 2. Faster news cycle, less vetting (Rosenberg and Feldman, 2008) 3. Newspapers cutting staff, oversight; Internet media less careful (Silverman and Jarvis, 2009)
  42. 42. Key assumption (for application to recent data): newmedia environment less informative (lower π) As we all know, new media–cable television, Internet–have emerged, and old media (newspapers, network TV) declined Why less informative? 0. Only assuming for more political, ambiguous issues–not for hard facts (Gentzkow and Shapiro, 2006) 1. More partisan (Baum and Groeling, 2008) 2. Faster news cycle, less vetting (Rosenberg and Feldman, 2008) 3. Newspapers cutting staff, oversight; Internet media less careful (Silverman and Jarvis, 2009) 4. Views of public
  43. 43. Trends in public views of news accuracy
  44. 44. Trends in public views of news accuracy
  45. 45. ¯Each party one of two types, high or low (θi ∈ {θ, θ})
  46. 46. ¯Each party one of two types, high or low (θi ∈ {θ, θ})Conventional interpretation: centrist/extremist orcompetent/incompetent
  47. 47. ¯Each party one of two types, high or low (θi ∈ {θ, θ})Conventional interpretation: centrist/extremist orcompetent/incompetentMore realistic (?) given focus on motives (accusations of “playingpolitics”): idealist/cynic
  48. 48. ¯Each party one of two types, high or low (θi ∈ {θ, θ})Conventional interpretation: centrist/extremist orcompetent/incompetentMore realistic (?) given focus on motives (accusations of “playingpolitics”): idealist/cynicHigh-type is non-strategic and tries to be good public servant;low-type strategic and weighs partisan benefits versus future electionprospects
  49. 49. ¯Each party one of two types, high or low (θi ∈ {θ, θ})Conventional interpretation: centrist/extremist orcompetent/incompetentMore realistic (?) given focus on motives (accusations of “playingpolitics”): idealist/cynicHigh-type is non-strategic and tries to be good public servant;low-type strategic and weighs partisan benefits versus future electionprospectsWhich are function of centrist voters’ beliefs that parties are thehigh type (priors are λmaj and λmin , with 0.5 > λmaj > λmin )
  50. 50. ¯Each party one of two types, high or low (θi ∈ {θ, θ})Conventional interpretation: centrist/extremist orcompetent/incompetentMore realistic (?) given focus on motives (accusations of “playingpolitics”): idealist/cynicHigh-type is non-strategic and tries to be good public servant;low-type strategic and weighs partisan benefits versus future electionprospectsWhich are function of centrist voters’ beliefs that parties are thehigh type (priors are λmaj and λmin , with 0.5 > λmaj > λmin )Need some noise: is probability low type acts like high type
  51. 51. Illustration of timing
  52. 52. Illustration of timing
  53. 53. Illustration of timing Solve with PBE:
  54. 54. Illustration of timing Solve with PBE: voters beliefs about strategies are correct and posteriors about party types are Bayesian;
  55. 55. Illustration of timing Solve with PBE: voters beliefs about strategies are correct and posteriors about party types are Bayesian; X ∗ is optimal given voters beliefs and σ ∗ (r , I ) = Pr (A|r , I );
  56. 56. Illustration of timing Solve with PBE: voters beliefs about strategies are correct and posteriors about party types are Bayesian; X ∗ is optimal given voters beliefs and σ ∗ (r , I ) = Pr (A|r , I ); σ ∗ (r , I ) = Pr (A|r , I ) is optimal given voters beliefs and X ∗
  57. 57. Results: I first show there exists a ‘total gridlock’ PBE forlow π
  58. 58. Results: I first show there exists a ‘total gridlock’ PBE forlow π Proposition There exists a PBE in which the (strategic) majority always plays D, and minority always plays B, iff π sufficiently small.
  59. 59. Results: I first show there exists a ‘total gridlock’ PBE forlow π Proposition There exists a PBE in which the (strategic) majority always plays D, and minority always plays B, iff π sufficiently small. D more likely to ‘slip by’ for small π
  60. 60. Results: I first show there exists a ‘total gridlock’ PBE forlow π Proposition There exists a PBE in which the (strategic) majority always plays D, and minority always plays B, iff π sufficiently small. D more likely to ‘slip by’ for small π And when news uninformative voters mainly update based on minority’s action–and B makes majority look bad
  61. 61. Results: I first show there exists a ‘total gridlock’ PBE forlow π Proposition There exists a PBE in which the (strategic) majority always plays D, and minority always plays B, iff π sufficiently small. D more likely to ‘slip by’ for small π And when news uninformative voters mainly update based on minority’s action–and B makes majority look bad PBE more likely to exist when λmin small–implies only λmaj substantially changes due to actions
  62. 62. Results: I first show there exists a ‘total gridlock’ PBE forlow π Proposition There exists a PBE in which the (strategic) majority always plays D, and minority always plays B, iff π sufficiently small. D more likely to ‘slip by’ for small π And when news uninformative voters mainly update based on minority’s action–and B makes majority look bad PBE more likely to exist when λmin small–implies only λmaj substantially changes due to actions (minority has ‘nothing to lose’)
  63. 63. Results: I first show there exists a ‘total gridlock’ PBE forlow π Proposition There exists a PBE in which the (strategic) majority always plays D, and minority always plays B, iff π sufficiently small. D more likely to ‘slip by’ for small π And when news uninformative voters mainly update based on minority’s action–and B makes majority look bad PBE more likely to exist when λmin small–implies only λmaj substantially changes due to actions (minority has ‘nothing to lose’) As π increases, B hurts minority more, majority less when r = rE proof
  64. 64. Otherwise, if is large enough, there is still near-totalgridlock
  65. 65. Otherwise, if is large enough, there is still near-totalgridlock Proposition If a total gridlock PBE fails to exist, then, iff π is sufficiently small and large, in PBE the majority still always plays D and the minority only mixes (sometimes A) when I = E and r = rE .
  66. 66. Otherwise, if is large enough, there is still near-totalgridlock Proposition If a total gridlock PBE fails to exist, then, iff π is sufficiently small and large, in PBE the majority still always plays D and the minority only mixes (sometimes A) when I = E and r = rE . dilutes the positive effect of A on reputations, more so for the minority
  67. 67. Otherwise, if is large enough, there is still near-totalgridlock Proposition If a total gridlock PBE fails to exist, then, iff π is sufficiently small and large, in PBE the majority still always plays D and the minority only mixes (sometimes A) when I = E and r = rE . dilutes the positive effect of A on reputations, more so for the minority Prevents strategic A, along with assumption λmaj < 0.5 proof
  68. 68. Parameter regions for total, partial gridlock equilibria; π = 0.55 (x-axis = λmin ; y-axis = λmaj )
  69. 69. If π is large, the parties cooperate
  70. 70. If π is large, the parties cooperate Proposition Iff π is sufficiently large, there exists a PBE in which the majority always plays E and the minority is more likely to play A, conditional on I and r , than in any gridlock PBE.
  71. 71. If π is large, the parties cooperate Proposition Iff π is sufficiently large, there exists a PBE in which the majority always plays E and the minority is more likely to play A, conditional on I and r , than in any gridlock PBE. Summary: large π, cooperative PBE exists, no gridlock PBE; small π, gridlock PBE exists, no cooperative PBE
  72. 72. If π is large, the parties cooperate Proposition Iff π is sufficiently large, there exists a PBE in which the majority always plays E and the minority is more likely to play A, conditional on I and r , than in any gridlock PBE. Summary: large π, cooperative PBE exists, no gridlock PBE; small π, gridlock PBE exists, no cooperative PBE Media good watchdog when accurate–forces both parties to “do the right thing”
  73. 73. If π is large, the parties cooperate Proposition Iff π is sufficiently large, there exists a PBE in which the majority always plays E and the minority is more likely to play A, conditional on I and r , than in any gridlock PBE. Summary: large π, cooperative PBE exists, no gridlock PBE; small π, gridlock PBE exists, no cooperative PBE Media good watchdog when accurate–forces both parties to “do the right thing” Minority party good ‘backup watchdog’ when π large–worse when π is small!
  74. 74. Gridlock is indeed more likely in what I call the gridlockPBE
  75. 75. Gridlock is indeed more likely in what I call the gridlockPBE Proposition For any πg ≤ πc , B is more likely to be played in a gridlock equilibrium with π = πg than a cooperative equilibrium with π = πc .
  76. 76. Gridlock is indeed more likely in what I call the gridlockPBE Proposition For any πg ≤ πc , B is more likely to be played in a gridlock equilibrium with π = πg than a cooperative equilibrium with π = πc . (Actually non-trivial - but intuition uninteresting)
  77. 77. Gridlock is indeed more likely in what I call the gridlockPBE Proposition For any πg ≤ πc , B is more likely to be played in a gridlock equilibrium with π = πg than a cooperative equilibrium with π = πc . (Actually non-trivial - but intuition uninteresting) (Welfare results similar - actually less clean)
  78. 78. Reputation effects Proposition For any gridlock PBE with sufficiently small πg and cooperative PBE with sufficiently large πc , the majority is more likely to both lose absolute reputation, and lose reputation relative to the minority, in gridlock PBE than cooperative PBE.
  79. 79. Reputation effects Proposition For any gridlock PBE with sufficiently small πg and cooperative PBE with sufficiently large πc , the majority is more likely to both lose absolute reputation, and lose reputation relative to the minority, in gridlock PBE than cooperative PBE. Unsurprising given news, and minority action, more likely to disfavor majority in gridlock PBE
  80. 80. Reputation effects Proposition For any gridlock PBE with sufficiently small πg and cooperative PBE with sufficiently large πc , the majority is more likely to both lose absolute reputation, and lose reputation relative to the minority, in gridlock PBE than cooperative PBE. Unsurprising given news, and minority action, more likely to disfavor majority in gridlock PBE Corollary In gridlock PBE outcomes in which the majority loses relative reputation, the minority loses absolute reputation.
  81. 81. Reputation effects Proposition For any gridlock PBE with sufficiently small πg and cooperative PBE with sufficiently large πc , the majority is more likely to both lose absolute reputation, and lose reputation relative to the minority, in gridlock PBE than cooperative PBE. Unsurprising given news, and minority action, more likely to disfavor majority in gridlock PBE Corollary In gridlock PBE outcomes in which the majority loses relative reputation, the minority loses absolute reputation. More subtle
  82. 82. Reputation effects Proposition For any gridlock PBE with sufficiently small πg and cooperative PBE with sufficiently large πc , the majority is more likely to both lose absolute reputation, and lose reputation relative to the minority, in gridlock PBE than cooperative PBE. Unsurprising given news, and minority action, more likely to disfavor majority in gridlock PBE Corollary In gridlock PBE outcomes in which the majority loses relative reputation, the minority loses absolute reputation. More subtle ¯ Simple proof: Pr (r , B|θmin ) = 1 > Pr (r , B|θmin )
  83. 83. PropositionLet λmin = δλmaj . Let δ ∗ (λmaj ) equal the min δ such that∼ ∼λmin (rD , B) > λmaj (rD , B). Then, for gridlock PBE, δ ∗ (λmaj ) is weaklyincreasing in λmaj (strictly if π > 0.5).
  84. 84. PropositionLet λmin = δλmaj . Let δ ∗ (λmaj ) equal the min δ such that∼ ∼λmin (rD , B) > λmaj (rD , B). Then, for gridlock PBE, δ ∗ (λmaj ) is weaklyincreasing in λmaj (strictly if π > 0.5). ∼ ∼ Reversals in reputation advantage (i.e., λmin > λmaj ) more likely, for given percentage advantage of majority, when the majority has lower initial reputation.
  85. 85. Re-election probabilities
  86. 86. Re-election probabilities Re-election probabilities; π = 0.55 in gridlock PBE, = 0.95 in cooperative PBE; ∼ ∼ ∼ ∼ = 0.25, φ = 0.75, ψ = 0.95, α = 2, f ( λ maj − λ min ) = 0.5(1 + ( λ maj − λ min )0.3 ) if ∼ ∼ ∼ ∼ λ maj ≥ λ min , and = 0.5(1 − ( λ min − λ maj )0.3 ) otherwise.
  87. 87. What about voter polarization?
  88. 88. What about voter polarization? Natural to interpret model as implying partisan voters’ opinions of opposing party decline as gridlock increases
  89. 89. What about voter polarization? Natural to interpret model as implying partisan voters’ opinions of opposing party decline as gridlock increases If I am pro-majority partisan, and policy blocked, I think minority more likely ‘bad’ (blocked good policy for political gain)
  90. 90. What about voter polarization? Natural to interpret model as implying partisan voters’ opinions of opposing party decline as gridlock increases If I am pro-majority partisan, and policy blocked, I think minority more likely ‘bad’ (blocked good policy for political gain) If I am pro-minority partisan, and policy blocked, I think majority more likely ‘bad’ (proposed bad policy)
  91. 91. Empirical implications
  92. 92. Empirical implications In less accurate media environments there should be:
  93. 93. Empirical implications In less accurate media environments there should be: (Increased gridlock – Props 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.5)
  94. 94. Empirical implications In less accurate media environments there should be: (Increased gridlock – Props 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.5) 1. Greater probability of the majority losing reputation (Prop 3.7)
  95. 95. Empirical implications In less accurate media environments there should be: (Increased gridlock – Props 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.5) 1. Greater probability of the majority losing reputation (Prop 3.7) 2. Greater probability of political turnover (Prop 3.7, Figure 4)
  96. 96. Empirical implications In less accurate media environments there should be: (Increased gridlock – Props 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.5) 1. Greater probability of the majority losing reputation (Prop 3.7) 2. Greater probability of political turnover (Prop 3.7, Figure 4) 3. Decrease in minority’s reputation even just before turnover (Coroll 3.8)
  97. 97. Empirical implications In less accurate media environments there should be: (Increased gridlock – Props 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.5) 1. Greater probability of the majority losing reputation (Prop 3.7) 2. Greater probability of political turnover (Prop 3.7, Figure 4) 3. Decrease in minority’s reputation even just before turnover (Coroll 3.8) 4. Exacerbation of gridlock trends as minority’s reputation worsens, especially relative to majority (Prop 3.1, Fig 2)
  98. 98. Empirical implications In less accurate media environments there should be: (Increased gridlock – Props 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.5) 1. Greater probability of the majority losing reputation (Prop 3.7) 2. Greater probability of political turnover (Prop 3.7, Figure 4) 3. Decrease in minority’s reputation even just before turnover (Coroll 3.8) 4. Exacerbation of gridlock trends as minority’s reputation worsens, especially relative to majority (Prop 3.1, Fig 2) 5. Exacerbation of turnover trends as majority reputation worsens (Prop 3.9)
  99. 99. Empirical implications In less accurate media environments there should be: (Increased gridlock – Props 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.5) 1. Greater probability of the majority losing reputation (Prop 3.7) 2. Greater probability of political turnover (Prop 3.7, Figure 4) 3. Decrease in minority’s reputation even just before turnover (Coroll 3.8) 4. Exacerbation of gridlock trends as minority’s reputation worsens, especially relative to majority (Prop 3.1, Fig 2) 5. Exacerbation of turnover trends as majority reputation worsens (Prop 3.9) 6. Greater polarization of more partisan voters
  100. 100. Empirical trends
  101. 101. Empirical trends 1. Congress approval ratings at historical lows (13%, Gallup)
  102. 102. Empirical trends 1. Congress approval ratings at historical lows (13%, Gallup) 2. House majority control same 1954-94; turnover in 1994, 2006 and 2010
  103. 103. Empirical trends 1. Congress approval ratings at historical lows (13%, Gallup) 2. House majority control same 1954-94; turnover in 1994, 2006 and 2010 3. Evidence that minority’s reputation declined even prior to turnover
  104. 104. Empirical trends 1. Congress approval ratings at historical lows (13%, Gallup) 2. House majority control same 1954-94; turnover in 1994, 2006 and 2010 3. Evidence that minority’s reputation declined even prior to turnover 4. Gridlock appears up - especially after newly elected president (2005, 2009)?
  105. 105. Empirical trends 1. Congress approval ratings at historical lows (13%, Gallup) 2. House majority control same 1954-94; turnover in 1994, 2006 and 2010 3. Evidence that minority’s reputation declined even prior to turnover 4. Gridlock appears up - especially after newly elected president (2005, 2009)? 5. Turnover rates up
  106. 106. Empirical trends 1. Congress approval ratings at historical lows (13%, Gallup) 2. House majority control same 1954-94; turnover in 1994, 2006 and 2010 3. Evidence that minority’s reputation declined even prior to turnover 4. Gridlock appears up - especially after newly elected president (2005, 2009)? 5. Turnover rates up 6. Partisan voters beliefs have diverged
  107. 107. Empirical trends 1. Congress approval ratings at historical lows (13%, Gallup) 2. House majority control same 1954-94; turnover in 1994, 2006 and 2010 3. Evidence that minority’s reputation declined even prior to turnover 4. Gridlock appears up - especially after newly elected president (2005, 2009)? 5. Turnover rates up 6. Partisan voters beliefs have diverged
  108. 108. Concluding remarks
  109. 109. Concluding remarks Model highlights role of media underlying obstructionism
  110. 110. Concluding remarks Model highlights role of media underlying obstructionism Parties may act in more polarized way directly due to media changes (and not just bc of effects on voter beliefs)
  111. 111. Concluding remarks Model highlights role of media underlying obstructionism Parties may act in more polarized way directly due to media changes (and not just bc of effects on voter beliefs) Positive feedback effect due to obstructionist incentives stronger when minority has poor reputation; obstructionism further worsens reputation
  112. 112. Concluding remarks Model highlights role of media underlying obstructionism Parties may act in more polarized way directly due to media changes (and not just bc of effects on voter beliefs) Positive feedback effect due to obstructionist incentives stronger when minority has poor reputation; obstructionism further worsens reputation Model highly stylized and many important factors ignored (maybe turnout, in particular)

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