IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/mod/depeco/0146.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Does fake news affect voting behaviour?

Author

Listed:
  • Michele Cantarella
  • Nicolo' Fraccaroli
  • Roberto Volpe

Abstract

Over the last decade, the erosion of trust in public institutions and traditional media sources have been proceeding in parallel. As recent developments in media consumption have led to a proliferation of politically charged online misinformation, it is no wonder that many have been questioning whether the spread of fake news has affected the results of recent elections, contributing to the growth of populist party platforms. In this work, we aim to quantify this impact by focusing on the causal effect of the spread of misinformation over electoral outcomes in the 2018 Italian General elections. We exploit the presence of Italian and German linguistic groups in the Trento and Bolzano/Bozen autonomous provinces as an exogenous source of variation, assigning individuals into distinct filter bubbles each differently exposed to misinformation. To do so, we introduce a novel index based on text mining techniques to measure populism. Using this approach, we analyse the social media content of each party and their leaders over the course of the electoral campaign for the 2013 and 2018 elections. We then collect electoral and socio-demographic data from the region and, after constructing a proxy for exposition to misinformation, we measure the change in populist vote across the two groups in-between the two general elections, using a combination of difference-in-difference and two-stagesleast- squares inference methods. Our results indicate that misinformation had a negligible and non-significant effect on populist vote in Trentino and South Tyrol during the Italian 2018 general elections.

Suggested Citation

  • Michele Cantarella & Nicolo' Fraccaroli & Roberto Volpe, 2019. "Does fake news affect voting behaviour?," Department of Economics 0146, University of Modena and Reggio E., Faculty of Economics "Marco Biagi".
  • Handle: RePEc:mod:depeco:0146
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://155.185.68.2/wpdemb/0146.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Card, David & Krueger, Alan B, 1994. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast-Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 772-793, September.
    2. Hunt Allcott & Matthew Gentzkow, 2017. "Social Media and Fake News in the 2016 Election," NBER Working Papers 23089, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Billari, Francesco C. & Giuntella, Osea & Stella, Luca, 2018. "Broadband internet, digital temptations, and sleep," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 58-76.
    4. Andreas Madestam & Daniel Shoag & Stan Veuger & David Yanagizawa-Drott, 2013. "Do Political Protests Matter? Evidence from the Tea Party Movement," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(4), pages 1633-1685.
    5. Hunt Allcott & Matthew Gentzkow & Chuan Yu, 2019. "Trends in the Diffusion of Misinformation on Social Media," NBER Working Papers 25500, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. 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.
    7. Marina Azzimonti & Marcos Fernandes, 2018. "Social Media Networks, Fake News, and Polarization," NBER Working Papers 24462, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Hunt Allcott & Matthew Gentzkow, 2017. "Social Media and Fake News in the 2016 Election," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 31(2), pages 211-236, Spring.
    9. James K. Galbraith & J. Travis Hale, 2008. "State Income Inequality and Presidential Election Turnout and Outcomes," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 89(4), pages 887-901, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. João Pedro Baptista & Elisete Correia & Anabela Gradim & Valeriano Piñeiro-Naval, 2021. "The Influence of Political Ideology on Fake News Belief: The Portuguese Case," Publications, MDPI, vol. 9(2), pages 1-17, May.

    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. Jost, Peter J. & Pünder, Johanna & Schulze-Lohoff, Isabell, 2020. "Fake news - Does perception matter more than the truth?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 85(C).
    2. Domenico, Giandomenico Di & Sit, Jason & Ishizaka, Alessio & Nunan, Daniel, 2021. "Fake news, social media and marketing: A systematic review," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 329-341.
    3. Germano, Fabrizio & Sobbrio, Francesco, 2020. "Opinion dynamics via search engines (and other algorithmic gatekeepers)," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 187(C).
    4. Laura Studen & Victor Tiberius, 2020. "Social Media, Quo Vadis? Prospective Development and Implications," Future Internet, MDPI, vol. 12(9), pages 1-22, August.
    5. Hunt Allcott & Matthew Gentzkow & Chuan Yu, 2019. "Trends in the Diffusion of Misinformation on Social Media," NBER Working Papers 25500, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Roberto Mosquera & Mofioluwasademi Odunowo & Trent McNamara & Xiongfei Guo & Ragan Petrie, 2020. "The economic effects of Facebook," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 23(2), pages 575-602, June.
    7. Geraci, Andrea & Nardotto, Mattia & Reggiani, Tommaso G. & Sabatini, Fabio, 2018. "Broadband Internet and Social Capital," IZA Discussion Papers 11855, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. Junze Sun & Arthur Schram & Randolph Sloof, 2019. "A Theory on Media Bias and Elections," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 19-048/I, Tinbergen Institute.
    9. Hunt Allcott & Matthew Gentzkow & Chuan Yu, 2018. "Trends in the Diffusion of Misinformation on Social Media," Papers 1809.05901, arXiv.org.
    10. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2019. "Electoral Competition with Fake News," NBER Working Papers 26409, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Artem Zakharchenko & Tomáš Peráček & Solomiia Fedushko & Yuriy Syerov & Olha Trach, 2021. "When Fact-Checking and ‘BBC Standards’ Are Helpless: ‘Fake Newsworthy Event’ Manipulation and the Reaction of the ‘High-Quality Media’ on It," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(2), pages 1-13, January.
    12. Grossman, Gene M. & Helpman, Elhanan, 2019. "Electoral Competition with Fake News," CEPR Discussion Papers 14210, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    13. Leopoldo Fergusson & Carlos Molina, 2020. "Facebook Causes Protests," Documentos de Trabajo LACEA 018004, The Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association - LACEA.
    14. Robbett, Andrea & Matthews, Peter Hans, 2018. "Partisan bias and expressive voting," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 157(C), pages 107-120.
    15. Henrik Skaug Sætra, 2021. "AI in Context and the Sustainable Development Goals: Factoring in the Unsustainability of the Sociotechnical System," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(4), pages 1-19, February.
    16. Barrera, Oscar & Guriev, Sergei & Henry, Emeric & Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina, 2020. "Facts, alternative facts, and fact checking in times of post-truth politics," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 182(C).
    17. Sumeet Kumar & Binxuan Huang & Ramon Alfonso Villa Cox & Kathleen M. Carley, 2021. "An anatomical comparison of fake-news and trusted-news sharing pattern on Twitter," Computational and Mathematical Organization Theory, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 109-133, June.
    18. Zazli Lily Wisker & Robert Neil McKie, 2021. "The effect of fake news on anger and negative word-of-mouth: moderating roles of religiosity and conservatism," Journal of Marketing Analytics, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 9(2), pages 144-153, June.
    19. Roger D. Magarey & Christina M. Trexler, 2020. "Information: a missing component in understanding and mitigating social epidemics," Palgrave Communications, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 7(1), pages 1-11, December.
    20. Denter, Philipp & Ginzburg, Boris, 2021. "Troll Farms and Voter Disinformation," MPRA Paper 109634, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fake News; Political Economy; Electoral Outcomes; Populism;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism
    • L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

    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:mod:depeco:0146. 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/demodit.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: Sara Colombini (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/demodit.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.