Raising Voices not Dollars? The Effects of Citizens United on Political Efficacy
Do reforms to campaign finance laws affect citizens' views toward government responsiveness? The bedrock of all campaign finance laws in the United States is the government's compelling interest in preventing "corruption or its appearance." Using Citizens United as an exogenous shock--a treatment--on 21 states' campaign finance laws, I examine whether the holding affected citizens' level of external efficacy. Using NES data from 2008 and 2012, I create a multivariate and probit regression to examine the effects on a novel external efficacy scale. The results show that Citizens United had a negative and statistically significant effect on citizens' views whether public officials cared about them. This research presents a new way forward for using judicial mandates as natural experiments to study political efficacy.
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