Online Program Home
My Program

Abstract Details

Activity Number: 238 - SPEED: Environment and Health, Governmental Policies and Population Surveys, Part 1
Type: Contributed
Date/Time: Monday, July 29, 2019 : 2:00 PM to 3:50 PM
Sponsor: Government Statistics Section
Abstract #306715
Title: Examining Public Comments for Financial and Net Neutrality Regulations
Author(s): Shawn Mankad* and Abhinav Gaiha
Companies: Cornell University and Cornell University
Keywords: Regulations; Text Analysis; Sentiment; Public Comments

Federal regulations in the United States are created through the so-called "notice-and-comment" process, which allows the public to submit comment letters and systematically influence the development of regulations. Recently, this process has come under public scrutiny for the net neutrality regulations enacted by the Federal Communications Commission, as the number of comments far exceeded historical levels. To better understand whether and how these comments were unusual, we analyze the comments associated with net neutrality, and compare them to a corpus of comment letters for financial regulations put forth by another federal agency. The set of financial regulations serving as a baseline stem from the landmark Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and thus include a mix of mundane and controversial rules of greater economic significance. We find that the comment letters associated with net neutrality were indeed atypical along several dimensions, including length, sentiment, and style of writing. Further, the high number of repeated content from different authors suggests organized campaigns were partly responsible for the high levels of comment letters.

Authors who are presenting talks have a * after their name.

Back to the full JSM 2019 program