Does the media matter? A field experiment measuring the effect of newspapers on voting behavior and political opinions
AbstractThere is substantial evidence that media sources have identifiable political slants, but there has been relatively little study until recently of the effects on political views and behaviors of media bias or access. This paper reports the results of a natural field experiment to measure the effect of exposure to newspapers on political behavior and opinion. The Washington DC area is served by two major newspapers, the Washington Times and the Washington Post. We randomly assigned individuals either to receive a free subscription to the Washington Post, to receive a free subscription to the Washington Times, or to a control group. We then conducted a public opinion survey after the 2005 Virginia gubernatorial election. We find that those assigned to the Post treatment group were eight percentage points more likely to vote for the Democratic candidate for governor than those assigned to the control group. We find similar but weaker evidence of shifts in public opinion on specific issues and attitudes.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by The Field Experiments Website in its series Natural Field Experiments with number 00252.
Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.fieldexperiments.com
Other versions of this item:
- Alan S. Gerber & Dean Karlan & Daniel Bergan, 2009. "Does the Media Matter? A Field Experiment Measuring the Effect of Newspapers on Voting Behavior and Political Opinions," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 35-52, April.
- Gerber, Alan & Karlan, Dean & Bergan, Daniel, 2006. "Does The Media Matter? A Field Experiment Measuring the Effect of Newspapers on Voting Behavior and Political Opinions," Working Papers 12, Yale University, Department of Economics.
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
- L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- John List & David Reiley, 2008.
Artefactual Field Experiments
00091, The Field Experiments Website.
- Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2006.
"Media Bias and Reputation,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(2), pages 280-316, April.
- Besley, Timothy J. & Burgess, Robin, 2001.
"The Political Economy of Government Responsiveness: Theory and Evidence from India,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
2721, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2002. "The Political Economy Of Government Responsiveness: Theory And Evidence From India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1415-1451, November.
- Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2000. "The Political Economy of Government Responsiveness: Theory and Evidence from India," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 28, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
- Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2000. "The political economy of government responsiveness: theory and evidence from India," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2308, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Stefano DellaVigna & Ethan Kaplan, 2007.
"The Fox News Effect: Media Bias and Voting,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1187-1234, 08.
- DellaVigna, Stefano & Kaplan, Ethan, 2006. "The Fox News Effect: Media Bias and Voting," Seminar Papers 748, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
- Stefano DellaVigna & Ethan Kaplan, 2006. "The Fox News Effect: Media Bias and Voting," NBER Working Papers 12169, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Sendhil Mullainathan & Andrei Shleifer, 2005.
"The Market for News,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1031-1053, September.
- Matthew Gentzkow, 2006. "Television and Voter Turnout," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(3), pages 931-972, 08.
- Lisa M. George & Joel Waldfogel, 2006. "The New York Times and the Market for Local Newspapers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 435-447, March.
- Tim Groseclose & Jeffrey Milyo, 2005.
"A Measure of Media Bias,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 120(4), pages 1191-1237, November.
- Sendhil Mullainathan & Andrei Shleifer, 2002.
Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers
1981, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Joe Seidel).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.