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E-Lections: Voting Behavior and the Internet

Author

Listed:
  • Oliver Falck
  • Robert Gold
  • Stephan Heblich

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Oliver Falck & Robert Gold & Stephan Heblich, 2012. "E-Lections: Voting Behavior and the Internet," CESifo Working Paper Series 3827, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3827
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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp3827.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    elections; political economy; mass media; internet;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • C50 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - General
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software

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