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Internet and Politics: Evidence from U.K. Local Elections and Local Government Policies

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  • Gavazza, Alessandro
  • Nardotto, Mattia
  • Valletti, Tommaso

Abstract

We empirically study the effects of broadband internet diffusion on local election outcomes and on local government policies using rich data from the U.K. Our analysis suggests that the internet has displaced other media with greater news content (i.e., radio and newspapers), thereby decreasing voter turnout, most notably among less-educated and younger individuals. In turn, local government expenditures (and taxes) are lower in areas with greater broadband diffusion, particularly expenditures targeted at less-educated voters. Our findings corroborate the idea that voters' information plays a key role in determining electoral participation, government policies and government size.

Suggested Citation

  • Gavazza, Alessandro & Nardotto, Mattia & Valletti, Tommaso, 2015. "Internet and Politics: Evidence from U.K. Local Elections and Local Government Policies," CEPR Discussion Papers 10991, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:10991
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    Cited by:

    1. Hoffman, Mitchell & León, Gianmarco & Lombardi, María, 2017. "Compulsory voting, turnout, and government spending: Evidence from Austria," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 145(C), pages 103-115.
    2. Samuele Poy & Simone Schüller, 2016. "Internet and Voting in the Web 2.0 Era: Evidence from a Local Broadband Policy," FBK-IRVAPP Working Papers 2016-08, Research Institute for the Evaluation of Public Policies (IRVAPP), Bruno Kessler Foundation.
    3. Godefroy, Raphael & Henry, Emeric, 2016. "Voter turnout and fiscal policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 389-406.
    4. Müller, Karsten & Schwarz, Carlo, 2018. "Fanning the Flames of Hate: Social Media and Hate Crime," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 373, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    5. Ruben Enikolopov & Maria Petrova & Konstantin Sonin, 2018. "Social Media and Corruption," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 150-174, January.
    6. Hendel, Igal E & Lach, Saul & Spiegel, Yossi, 2015. "Consumers' Activism: the Facebook boycott of Cottage Cheese," CEPR Discussion Papers 10460, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Kuroda, Toshifumi & Kido, Daido & Ichikawa,Yoshiharu, 2016. "Does the usage of TV streaming on the Internet bring about new functions to the public service broadcaster? : Evidence from a randomized field experiment," 27th European Regional ITS Conference, Cambridge (UK) 2016 148682, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).
    8. Valentino Larcinese & Luke Miner, 2018. "Was Obama Elected by the Internet? Broadband Diffusion and Voters' Behavior in US Presidential Elections," CESifo Working Paper Series 6882, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    media; voting;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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