Scandals and Preferences for Financial Regulation

Speaker: Pepper Culpepper

Nuffield College

[joint work with Jae-Hee Jung and Taeku Lee]

Abstract: We present results of a three-wave, six-country (Australia, France, Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States) survey project that investigates how media coverage influences people’s preferences for financial regulation. We test a variety of frames built around actual financial scandals, using language that appeared in the media to describe these scandals. In wave 2, we find that political frames of the scandal influence regulatory attitudes more than either non-political scandals or scandals that focus on the wrongs done to individual victims. Among the political frames, we find that a discussion of scandal based around the idea of political capture by financial institutions changes preferences in more countries than a partisan frame (whether left or right). In wave 3, using different versions of the political capture treatment and different scandals, we replicate the findings of the capture scandal from wave 2 in three out of the six countries.

The Political Science Seminar Series is convened by Pepper Culpepper and Jane Green. For more information on this or any of the seminars in the series, please contact