Does the media matter? A field experiment measuring the effect of newspapers on voting behavior and political opinions
There is substantial evidence that media sources have identifiable political slants, but there has been relatively little study until recently of the effects on political views and behaviors of media bias or access. This paper reports the results of a natural field experiment to measure the effect of exposure to newspapers on political behavior and opinion. The Washington DC area is served by two major newspapers, the Washington Times and the Washington Post. We randomly assigned individuals either to receive a free subscription to the Washington Post, to receive a free subscription to the Washington Times, or to a control group. We then conducted a public opinion survey after the 2005 Virginia gubernatorial election. We find that those assigned to the Post treatment group were eight percentage points more likely to vote for the Democratic candidate for governor than those assigned to the control group. We find similar but weaker evidence of shifts in public opinion on specific issues and attitudes.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- DellaVigna, Stefano & Kaplan, Ethan, 2006.
"The Fox News Effect: Media Bias and Voting,"
748, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
- Glenn W. Harrison & John A. List, 2004.
Journal of Economic Literature,
American Economic Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1009-1055, December.
- Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2000.
"The political economy of government responsiveness: theory and evidence from India,"
LSE Research Online Documents on Economics
2308, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2002. "The Political Economy Of Government Responsiveness: Theory And Evidence From India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1415-1451, November.
- Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2000. "The Political Economy of Government Responsiveness: Theory and Evidence from India," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 28, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
- Besley, Timothy J. & Burgess, Robin, 2001. "The Political Economy of Government Responsiveness: Theory and Evidence from India," CEPR Discussion Papers 2721, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse Shapiro, 2005.
"Media Bias and Reputation,"
NBER Working Papers
11664, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Matthew Gentzkow, 2006. "Television and Voter Turnout," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(3), pages 931-972, 08.
- Sendhil Mullainathan & Andrei Shleifer, 2002.
Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers
1981, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Lisa M. George & Joel Waldfogel, 2006. "The New York Times and the Market for Local Newspapers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 435-447, March.
- Tim Groseclose & Jeffrey Milyo, 2005.
"A Measure of Media Bias,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 120(4), pages 1191-1237, November.
- Sendhil Mullainathan & Andrei Shleifer, 2005.
"The Market for News,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1031-1053, September.
This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:feb:natura:00252. 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: (Joe Seidel)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.