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Ideological Segregation Online and Offline

  • Matthew Gentzkow
  • Jesse M. Shapiro

We use individual and aggregate data to ask how the Internet is changing the ideological segregation of the American electorate. Focusing on online news consumption, offline news consumption, and face-to-face social interactions, we define ideological segregation in each domain using standard indices from the literature on racial segregation. We find that ideological segregation of online news consumption is low in absolute terms, higher than the segregation of most offline news consumption, and significantly lower than the segregation of face-to-face interactions with neighbors, co-workers, or family members. We find no evidence that the Internet is becoming more segregated over time.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w15916.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15916.

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Date of creation: Apr 2010
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Publication status: published as “Ideological Segregation Online and Offline” (with Jesse M. Shapiro). Quarterly Journal of Economics. 126(4). November 2011.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15916
Note: IO POL
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page: http://www.nber.org
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