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E-Lections: Voting Behavior and the Internet

Author

Listed:
  • Falck, Oliver

    () (Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

  • Gold, Robert

    () (Kiel Institute for the World Economy)

  • Heblich, Stephan

    () (University of Toronto)

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

  • Falck, Oliver & Gold, Robert & Heblich, Stephan, 2012. "E-Lections: Voting Behavior and the Internet," IZA Discussion Papers 6545, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6545
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    elections; political economy; instrumental variables; mass media; internet;
    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

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