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Ideological Segregation Online and Offline

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  • Matthew Gentzkow
  • Jesse M. Shapiro

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.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15916.

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Date of creation: Apr 2010
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Publication status: published as “Ideological Segregation Online and Offline” (with Jesse M. Shapiro). Quarterly Journal of Economics. 126(4). November 2011.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15916

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  1. Ideological segregation is low on the internet
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2010-05-26 14:37:00
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Cited by:
  1. John Reuter & David Szakonyi, 2012. "Online Social Media and Political Awareness in Autoritarian Regimes," HSE Working papers, National Research University Higher School of Economics WP BRP 10/PS/2012, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
  2. Falck, Oliver & Gold, Robert & Heblich, Stephan, 2012. "E-Lections: Voting Behavior and the Internet," IZA Discussion Papers 6545, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Craig Burnside & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 2011. "Understanding Booms and Busts in Housing Markets," NBER Working Papers 16734, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Lesley Chiou & Catherine Tucker, 2011. "How Does Content Aggregation Affect Users' Search for Information?," Working Papers, NET Institute 11-18, NET Institute, revised Oct 2011.
  5. Baum, Matthew A., 2011. "Red, Blue, and the Flu: Media Self-Selection and Partisan Gaps in Swine Flu Vaccinations," Scholarly Articles 4696292, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
  6. Baum, Matthew A., 2011. "Red, Blue, and the Flu: Media Self-Selection and Partisan Gaps in Swine Flu Vaccinations," Working Paper Series, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government rwp11-010, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.

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