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E-Lections: Voting Behavior and the Internet

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Author Info

  • Falck, Oliver
  • Gold, Robert
  • Heblich, Stephan

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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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/6491
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Stirling, Division of Economics in its series Stirling Economics Discussion Papers with number 2012-07.

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Date of creation: Apr 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:stl:stledp:2012-07

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Postal: Division of Economics, University of Stirling, Stirling, Scotland FK9 4LA
Phone: +44 (0)1786 467473
Fax: +44 (0)1786 467469
Web page: http://www.econ.stir.ac.uk/
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Keywords: Internet; Mass Media; Instrumental Variables; Political Economy; Elect ions;

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References

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  1. Matthew Gentzkow, 2006. "Television and Voter Turnout," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(3), pages 931-972, 08.
  2. Felix Oberholzer-Gee & Joel Waldfogel, 2006. "Media Markets and Localism: Does Local News en Español Boost Hispanic Voter Turnout?," NBER Working Papers 12317, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2010. "Ideological Segregation Online and Offline," NBER Working Papers 15916, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Ruben Durante & Brian Knight, 2012. "Partisan Control, Media Bias, And Viewer Responses: Evidence From Berlusconi'S Italy," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(3), pages 451-481, 05.
  5. 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.
  6. Nico Voigtländer & Hans-Joachim Voth, 2011. "Persecution Perpetuated: The Medieval Origins of Anti-Semitic Violence in Nazi Germany," Working Papers 551, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  7. John McMillan & Pablo Zoido, 2004. "How to Subvert Democracy: Montesinos in Peru," Discussion Papers 03-030, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  8. Stan J. Liebowitz & Alejandro Zentner, 2012. "Clash of the Titans: Does Internet use Reduce Television Viewing?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(1), pages 234-245, February.
  9. Campante, Filipe Robin & Hojman, Daniel Andres, 2010. "Media and Polarization," Scholarly Articles 4454154, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
  10. Christian Bruns & Oliver Himmler, 2011. "Newspaper Circulation and Local Government Efficiency," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 113, pages 470-492, 06.
  11. Ruben Enikolopov & Maria Petrova & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2011. "Media and Political Persuasion: Evidence from Russia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 3253-85, December.
  12. Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2010. "What Drives Media Slant? Evidence From U.S. Daily Newspapers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(1), pages 35-71, 01.
  13. Stefano DellaVigna & Ethan Kaplan, 2006. "The Fox News Effect: Media Bias and Voting," NBER Working Papers 12169, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Benjamin A. Olken, 2009. "Do Television and Radio Destroy Social Capital? Evidence from Indonesian Villages," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(4), pages 1-33, October.
  15. Bauernschuster, Stefan & Falck, Oliver & Woessmann, Ludger, 2011. "Surfing Alone? The Internet and Social Capital: Evidence from an Unforeseeable Technological Mistake," IZA Discussion Papers 5747, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  16. Kolko, Jed, 2012. "Broadband and local growth," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 100-113.
  17. James M. Snyder & David Strömberg, 2010. "Press Coverage and Political Accountability," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(2), pages 355-408, 04.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Amedeo Piolatto & Florian Schuett, 2014. "Media competition and electoral politics," Working Papers 2014/14, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  3. Sabatini, Fabio & Sarracino, Francesco, 2014. "E-participation: social capital and the Internet," MPRA Paper 55722, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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