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Ideological Segregation Online and Offline

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  • Matthew Gentzkow
  • Jesse M. Shapiro
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    Abstract

    We use individual and aggregate data to ask how the Internet is changing the ideological segregation of the American electorate. Focusing on online news consumption, offline news consumption, and face-to-face social interactions, we define ideological segregation in each domain using standard indices from the literature on racial segregation. We find that ideological segregation of online news consumption is low in absolute terms, higher than the segregation of most offline news consumption, and significantly lower than the segregation of face-to-face interactions with neighbors, co-workers, or family members. We find no evidence that the Internet is becoming more segregated over time. Copyright 2011, Oxford University Press.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal The Quarterly Journal of Economics.

    Volume (Year): 126 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()
    Pages: 1799-1839

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    Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:126:y:2011:i:4:p:1799-1839

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    Cited by:
    1. Florian Schuett & Amedeo Piolatto, 2014. "Media competition and electoral politics," Working Papers. Serie AD 2014-03, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
    2. Jimmy Chan & Daniel Stone, 2013. "Media proliferation and partisan selective exposure," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 156(3), pages 467-490, September.
    3. Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2014. "Ideology and Online News," NBER Chapters, in: Economics of Digitization National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Stefano DellaVigna & Ruben Enikolopov & Vera Mironova & Maria Petrova & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2011. "Cross-border media and nationalism: Evidence from Serbian radio in Croatia," NBER Working Papers 16989, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Santiago Oliveros & Felix Vardy, 2013. "Demand for Slant: How Abstention Shapes Voters’ Choice of News Media," Economics Discussion Papers 734, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
    6. Rudiger, Jesper, 2013. "Cross-Checking the Media," MPRA Paper 51786, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Liang, Che-Yuan & Nordin, Mattias, 2012. "The Internet, News Consumption, and Political Attitudes," Working Paper Series 2012:14, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    8. Susan Athey & Emilio Calvano & Joshua Gans, 2013. "The Impact of the Internet on Advertising Markets for News Media," NBER Working Papers 19419, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Shane Greenstein & Feng Zhu, 2012. "Collective Intelligence and Neutral Point of View: The Case of Wikipedia," NBER Working Papers 18167, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Sobbrio, Francesco, 2014. "Citizen-editors' endogenous information acquisition and news accuracy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 43-53.
    11. Stone, Daniel F., 2013. "Media and gridlock," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 94-104.
    12. Jason Chan & Anindya Ghose & Robert Seamans, 2013. "The Internet and Hate Crime: Offline Spillovers from Online Access," Working Papers 13-02, NET Institute.

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