University politics professor Martin Gilens appeared on an episode of “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” on Wednesday alongside Northwestern University political science professor Benjamin Page.
Gilens and Page published a study in April that used regression analysis to analyze the differences in influence that affluent individuals, interest groups and average citizens have on government policy outcomes.
Gilens told Stewart that they analyzed over a thousand policy changes over the past few decades and found that elite groups and individuals had a disproportionate share of influence over policy.
Page also addressed University economics and Wilson School professor Paul Krugman’s view that the study raises good points but discourages people. Page said Krugman’s point is valid and that a major social movement would have to occur to change the status quo, pointing to the Progressive Era of the early 20th century as a model for reform.