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E-Lections: Voting Behavior and the Internet

  • Falck, Oliver

    ()

    (Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

  • Gold, Robert

    ()

    (Max Planck Institute for Economics)

  • Heblich, Stephan

    ()

    (University of Bristol)

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.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6545.

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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: May 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: American Economic Review, 2014, 104 (7), 2238-2265
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6545
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