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Do Television and Radio Destroy Social Capital? Evidence from Indonesian Villages

  • Benjamin A. Olken

This paper investigates the impact of television and radio on social capital in Indonesia. I use two sources of variation in signal reception -- one based on Indonesia's mountainous terrain, and a second based on the differential introduction of private television throughout Indonesia. I find that increased signal reception, which leads to more time watching television and listening to the radio, is associated with less participation in social organizations and with lower self-reported trust. Improved reception does not affect village governance, at least as measured by discussions in village meetings and by corruption in village road projects. (JEL L82, O15, Z13)

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 1 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 1-33

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:1:y:2009:i:4:p:1-33
Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.1.4.1
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  19. Robert Jensen & Emily Oster, 2009. "The Power of TV: Cable Television and Women's Status in India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(3), pages 1057-1094, August.
  20. Edward L. Glaeser & David I. Laibson & José A. Scheinkman & Christine L. Soutter, 2000. "Measuring Trust," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 811-846, August.
    • Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Laibson, David I. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Soutter, Christine L., 2000. "Measuring Trust," Scholarly Articles 4481497, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  23. La Porta, Rafael, et al, 1997. "Trust in Large Organizations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 333-38, May.
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