IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/diw/diwwpp/dp1691.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

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

Author

Listed:
  • Alessandro Gavazza
  • Mattia Nardotto
  • Tommaso Valletti

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, we find suggestive evidence that local government expenditures and taxes are lower in areas with greater broadband diffusion, particularly expenditures targeted at less-educated voters. Our findings are consistent with the idea that voters' information plays a key role in determining electoral participation, government policies and government size.

Suggested Citation

  • Alessandro Gavazza & Mattia Nardotto & Tommaso Valletti, 2017. "Internet and Politics: Evidence from U.K. Local Elections and Local Government Policies," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1691, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp1691
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.566566.de/dp1691.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bauernschuster, Stefan & Falck, Oliver & Woessmann, Ludger, 2014. "Surfing alone? The internet and social capital: Evidence from an unforeseeable technological mistake," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 73-89.
    2. Joseph G. Altonji & Todd E. Elder & Christopher R. Taber, 2005. "Selection on Observed and Unobserved Variables: Assessing the Effectiveness of Catholic Schools," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 151-184, February.
    3. Assar Lindbeck & Jörgen Weibull, 1987. "Balanced-budget redistribution as the outcome of political competition," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 52(3), pages 273-297, January.
    4. Garey Ramey & Valerie A. Ramey, 2010. "The Rug Rat Race," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 41(1 (Spring), pages 129-199.
    5. Filipe Campante & Ruben Durante & Francesco Sobbrio, 2018. "Politics 2.0: The Multifaceted Effect of Broadband Internet on Political Participation," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 16(4), pages 1094-1136.
    6. Ben Lockwood & Francesco Porcelli, 2013. "Incentive Schemes for Local Government: Theory and Evidence from Comprehensive Performance Assessment in England," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 5(3), pages 254-286, August.
    7. Ruben Enikolopov & Maria Petrova & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2011. "Media and Political Persuasion: Evidence from Russia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 3253-3285, December.
    8. James Banks & Zoe Oldfield & Matthew Wakefield, 2002. "The distribution of financial wealth in the UK: evidence from 2000 BHPS data," IFS Working Papers W02/21, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    9. Timothy Besley & Ian Preston, 2007. "Electoral Bias and Policy Choice: Theory and Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(4), pages 1473-1510.
    10. 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, April.
    11. Semykina, Anastasia & Wooldridge, Jeffrey M., 2010. "Estimating panel data models in the presence of endogeneity and selection," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 157(2), pages 375-380, August.
    12. Francesco Drago & Tommaso Nannicini & Francesco Sobbrio, 2014. "Meet the Press: How Voters and Politicians Respond to Newspaper Entry and Exit," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(3), pages 159-188, July.
    13. Timothy Besley & Andrea Prat, 2006. "Handcuffs for the Grabbing Hand? Media Capture and Government Accountability," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 720-736, June.
    14. Valentino Larcinese, 2007. "Does political knowledge increase turnout? Evidence from the 1997 British general election," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 131(3), pages 387-411, June.
    15. Oliver Falck & Robert Gold & Stephan Heblich, 2014. "E-lections: Voting Behavior and the Internet," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(7), pages 2238-2265, July.
    16. Mattia Nardotto & Tommaso Valletti & Frank Verboven, 2015. "Unbundling The Incumbent: Evidence From Uk Broadband," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 13(2), pages 330-362, April.
    17. Bouckaert, Jan & van Dijk, Theon & Verboven, Frank, 2010. "Access regulation, competition, and broadband penetration: An international study," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(11), pages 661-671, December.
    18. Nathan Nunn & Diego Puga, 2012. "Ruggedness: The Blessing of Bad Geography in Africa," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(1), pages 20-36, February.
    19. Prat, Andrea & Strömberg, David, 2005. "Commercial Television and Voter Information," CEPR Discussion Papers 4989, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    20. Rachel Milstein Sondheimer & Donald P. Green, 2010. "Using Experiments to Estimate the Effects of Education on Voter Turnout," American Journal of Political Science, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 54(1), pages 174-189, January.
    21. Claudio Ferraz & Frederico Finan, 2008. "Exposing Corrupt Politicians: The Effects of Brazil's Publicly Released Audits on Electoral Outcomes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(2), pages 703-745.
    22. Stefano DellaVigna & Ethan Kaplan, 2007. "The Fox News Effect: Media Bias and Voting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1187-1234.
    23. Katz, Jonathan N. & King, Gary, 1999. "A Statistical Model for Multiparty Electoral Data," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 93(1), pages 15-32, March.
    24. Emily Oster, 2013. "Unobservable Selection and Coefficient Stability: Theory and Validation," NBER Working Papers 19054, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    25. Ruben Durante & Paolo Pinotti & Andrea Tesei, 2019. "The Political Legacy of Entertainment TV," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 109(7), pages 2497-2530, July.
    26. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2002. "The Political Economy of Government Responsiveness: Theory and Evidence from India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1415-1451.
    27. Gregory J. Martin & Ali Yurukoglu, 2017. "Bias in Cable News: Persuasion and Polarization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(9), pages 2565-2599, September.
    28. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    29. Ben Lockwood & Francesco Porcelli, 2013. "Incentive Schemes for Local Government," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 11(1), pages 55-63, 04.
    30. Thomas Barnebeck Andersen & Jeanet Bentzen & Carl-Johan Dalgaard & Pablo Selaya, 2012. "Lightning, IT Diffusion, and Economic Growth Across U.S. States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(4), pages 903-924, November.
    31. Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro & Michael Sinkinson, 2011. "The Effect of Newspaper Entry and Exit on Electoral Politics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 2980-3018, December.
    32. Ying Fan, 2013. "Ownership Consolidation and Product Characteristics: A Study of the US Daily Newspaper Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(5), pages 1598-1628, August.
    33. Jonathan Guryan & Erik Hurst & Melissa Kearney, 2008. "Parental Education and Parental Time with Children," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(3), pages 23-46, Summer.
    34. Alessandro Gavazza & Alessandro Lizzeri, 2009. "Transparency and Economic Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(3), pages 1023-1048.
    35. Miner, Luke, 2015. "The unintended consequences of internet diffusion: Evidence from Malaysia," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 66-78.
    36. Julia Cage, 2014. "Media Competition, Information Provision and Political Participation," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/16juu6v6rg8, Sciences Po.
    37. repec:ces:ifodic:v:11:y:2013:i:1:p:19078519 is not listed on IDEAS
    38. Stephen Coate & Michael Conlin, 2004. "A Group Rule–Utilitarian Approach to Voter Turnout: Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1476-1504, December.
    39. Matthew Gentzkow, 2006. "Television and Voter Turnout," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(3), pages 931-972.
    40. Ben Lockwood & Francesco Porcelli, 2013. "Incentive Schemes for Local Government," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 11(01), pages 55-63, April.
    41. Thomas Fujiwara & Kyle Meng & Tom Vogl, 2016. "Habit Formation in Voting: Evidence from Rainy Elections," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 160-188, October.
    42. Conley, T. G., 1999. "GMM estimation with cross sectional dependence," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 1-45, September.
    43. Tomz, Michael & Tucker, Joshua A. & Wittenberg, Jason, 2002. "An Easy and Accurate Regression Model for Multiparty Electoral Data," Political Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(1), pages 66-83, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Piolatto, Amedeo & Schuett, Florian, 2015. "Media competition and electoral politics," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 80-93.
    2. Ellingsen, Sebastian & Hernæs, Øystein, 2018. "The impact of commercial television on turnout and public policy: Evidence from Norwegian local politics," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 159(C), pages 1-15.
    3. Cagé, Julia, 2020. "Media competition, information provision and political participation: Evidence from French local newspapers and elections, 1944–2014," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 185(C).
    4. Garz, Marcel & Sörensen, Jil, 2017. "Politicians under investigation: The news Media's effect on the likelihood of resignation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 82-91.
    5. Miner, Luke, 2015. "The unintended consequences of internet diffusion: Evidence from Malaysia," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 66-78.
    6. Francesco Sobbrio, 2014. "The political economy of news media: theory, evidence and open issues," Chapters, in: Francesco Forte & Ram Mudambi & Pietro Maria Navarra (ed.), A Handbook of Alternative Theories of Public Economics, chapter 13, pages 278-320, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    7. Marco Manacorda & Andrea Tesei, 2020. "Liberation Technology: Mobile Phones and Political Mobilization in Africa," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 88(2), pages 533-567, March.
    8. Ashani Amarasinghe & Paul A. Raschky, 2022. "Competing for Attention - The Effect of Talk Radio on Elections and Political Polarization in the US," SoDa Laboratories Working Paper Series 2022-02, Monash University, SoDa Laboratories.
    9. Oliver Falck & Robert Gold & Stephan Heblich, 2014. "E-lections: Voting Behavior and the Internet," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(7), pages 2238-2265, July.
    10. 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.
    11. Julia Cage, 2017. "Media Competition, Information Provision and Political Participation: Evidence from French Local Newspapers and Elections, 1944-2014," SciencePo Working papers hal-03393164, HAL.
    12. Piolatto, Amedeo & Schuett, Florian, 2015. "Media competition and electoral politics," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 80-93.
    13. Poy, Samuele & Schüller, Simone, 2020. "Internet and voting in the social media era: Evidence from a local broadband policy," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(1).
    14. Samuele Poy & Simone Schüller, 2016. "Internet and Voting in the Web 2.0 Era: Evidence from a Local Broadband Policy," CESifo Working Paper Series 6129, CESifo.
    15. Mathieu Couttenier & Sophie Hatte & Mathias Thoenig & Stephanos Vlachos, 2019. "The Logic of Fear: Populism and Media Coverage of Immigrant Crimes," Working Papers halshs-02095658, HAL.
    16. repec:tiu:tiucen:2013072 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Junze Sun & Arthur Schram & Randolph Sloof, 2019. "A Theory on Media Bias and Elections," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 19-048/I, Tinbergen Institute.
    18. Brian Knight & Ana Tribin, 2019. "Opposition Media, State Censorship, and Political Accountability: Evidence from Chavez's Venezuela," NBER Working Papers 25916, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Ewens, Michael & Gupta, Arpit & Howell, Sabrina, 2021. "Local Journalism under Private Equity Ownership," SocArXiv 6ynf4, Center for Open Science.
    20. Julia Cage, 2019. "Media competition, information provision and political participation:Evidence from French local newspapers and elections, 1944–2014," SciencePo Working papers hal-03567022, HAL.
    21. Julia Cage, 2014. "Media Competition, Information Provision and Political Participation," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/16juu6v6rg8, Sciences Po.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Internet; newspaper; media; elections; policy;
    All these keywords.

    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

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp1691. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/diwbede.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Bibliothek (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/diwbede.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.