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Politics 2.0: The Multifaceted Effect of Broadband Internet on Political Participation

Author

Listed:
  • Filipe R. Campante
  • Ruben Durante
  • Francesco Sobbrio

Abstract

We investigate the causal impact of broadband Internet on political participation using data from Italy. We show that this impact varies across different forms of political engagement and over time. Initially, broadband had a negative effect on turnout in national elections, driven by increased abstention of ideologically extreme voters. Meanwhile, however, broadband fostered other forms of online and offline participation. Over time, the negative effect was reverted due to the emergence of new political entrepreneurs who used the Internet to convert the initial "exit" back into "voice". Overall, these nuanced effects underscore the general equilibrium dynamic induced by the Internet.

Suggested Citation

  • Filipe R. Campante & Ruben Durante & Francesco Sobbrio, 2013. "Politics 2.0: The Multifaceted Effect of Broadband Internet on Political Participation," NBER Working Papers 19029, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19029
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Strömberg, David, 2015. "Media Coverage and Political Accountability: Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 10638, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Oliver Falck & Robert Gold & Stephan Heblich, 2014. "E-lections: Voting Behavior and the Internet," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(7), pages 2238-2265, July.
    3. Julia Cage, 2014. "Media Competition, Information Provision and Political Participation," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/16juu6v6rg8, Sciences Po.
    4. Gavazza, Alessandro & Nardotto, Mattia & Valletti, Tommaso, 2015. "Internet and Politics: Evidence from U.K. Local Elections and Local Government Policies," CEPR Discussion Papers 10991, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Ruben Durante & Paolo Pinotti & Andrea Tesei, 2015. "The Political Legacy of Entertainment TV," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/gjf8d7tah8a, Sciences Po.
    6. Miner, Luke, 2015. "The unintended consequences of internet diffusion: Evidence from Malaysia," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 66-78.
    7. Ruben Enikolopov & Maria Petrova & Konstantin Sonin, 2018. "Social Media and Corruption," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 150-174, January.
    8. Bauernschuster, Stefan & Falck, Oliver & Woessmann, Ludger, 2014. "Surfing alone? The internet and social capital: Evidence from an unforeseeable technological mistake," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 73-89.
    9. Liang Che-Yuan & Nordin Mattias, 2013. "The Internet, News Consumption, and Political Attitudes – Evidence for Sweden," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 13(2), pages 1071-1093, September.
    10. Dagaev, Dmitry & Lamberova, Natalia & Sobolev, Anton & Sonin, Konstantin, 2013. "Technological Foundations of Political Instability," CEPR Discussion Papers 9787, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Antoci, Angelo & Delfino, Alexia & Paglieri, Fabio & Panebianco, Fabrizio & Sabatini, Fabio, 2016. "Civility vs. incivility in online social interactions: an evolutionary approach," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 68800, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software

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