Tuesday seminar with Maiken Røed and Vibeke Wøien Hansen
In this paper, we investigate participation bias in the European Commission's online consultations using a cost-benefit framework. The main assumption is that if a group's costs of participating are higher than the expected benefits, the group will choose not to participate. Thus, we expect that participation bias will be smaller when the proposal discussed in the consultation is more salient (important). However, this is expected to depend on how technically complex the proposal is, since participating in such cases is assumed to be more resource-demanding. That is, less salient and complex consultations are expected to be more biased than more salient and complex ones. We test these expectations on more than 350 consultations organized between 2001 and 2012. The statistical analysis supports this line of argumentation.