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Snubbing Seth Rogen: Does Celebrity Testimony Increase Congressional Hearing Attendance?

  • Matthew D. Atkinson (a1) and Darin DeWitt (a2)

Abstract

Academic and popular accounts hold that celebrity activists command the attention of political elites. One manifestation of this idea is that celebrities garner greater congressional attention at committee hearings than the substantive experts who typically serve as witnesses. This implies that Members of Congress do not value interaction with experts and are willing to forego those interactions to allocate time to activities with low opportunity costs—activities unimportant enough that they can be passed up for a celebrity encounter. To evaluate these claims, we examined hearing attendance during a 20-year period. We found that celebrity witnesses have little effect on member attendance rates, which suggests that celebrities are a less efficacious route to congressional attention than is commonly believed.

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Snubbing Seth Rogen: Does Celebrity Testimony Increase Congressional Hearing Attendance?

  • Matthew D. Atkinson (a1) and Darin DeWitt (a2)

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