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

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  • Benjamin A. Olken

Abstract

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)

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • 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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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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