What If a Congressman Brought Home the Pork But Nobody Covered It?

Conn Carroll /

Well according to a new paper from National Bureau of Economic Research, he’d be a lot less likely to fight for waste the next time around. Here is what the abstract actually says:

In this paper we estimate the impact of press coverage on citizen knowledge, politicians’ actions, and policy. … Voters living in areas with less coverage of their U.S. House representative are less likely to recall their representative’s name, and less able to describe and rate them. Congressmen who are less covered by the local press work less for their constituencies: they are less likely to stand witness before congressional hearings, to serve on constituency-oriented committees (perhaps), and to vote against the party line. Finally, this congressional behavior affects policy. Federal spending is lower in areas where there is less press coverage of the local members of congress.