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E-Lections: Voting Behavior and the Internet

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Author Info

  • Falck, Oliver

    ()
    (Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

  • Gold, Robert

    ()
    (Max Planck Institute for Economics)

  • Heblich, Stephan

    ()
    (University of Bristol)

Abstract

This paper analyses the effect of information disseminated by the Internet on voting behavior. We address endogeneity in Internet availability by exploiting regional and technological peculiarities of the preexisting voice telephony network that hinder the roll-out of fixed-line broadband infrastructure for high-speed Internet. We find small negative effects of Internet availability on voter turnout, and no evidence that the Internet systematically benefits single parties. Robustness tests including placebo estimations from the pre-Internet era confirm our results. We relate differences in the Internet effect between national and local elections to a crowding out of national but not local newspapers.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6545.

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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: May 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: American Economic Review, 2014, 104 (7), 2238-2265
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6545

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Keywords: elections; political economy; instrumental variables; mass media; internet;

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References

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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. Fabio Sabatini & Francesco Sarracino, 2014. "Online networks and subjective well-being," Econometica Working Papers wp54, Econometica.
  3. Sabatini, Fabio & Sarracino, Francesco, 2014. "E-participation: social capital and the Internet," MPRA Paper 55722, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Campante, Filipe & Durante, Ruben & Sobbrio, Francesco, 2013. "Politics 2.0: The Multifaceted Effect of Broadband Internet on Political Participation," Working Paper Series rwp13-014, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.

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