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Superstars in politics: the role of the media in the koizumi regime

Author

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  • Yamamura, Eiji
  • Sbatini, Fabio

Abstract

This paper explores the role of mass media on people’s perceptions of charismatic leaders, focusing on Japan’s Koizumi regime. We conduct an empirical assessment, looking at the influence of television and newspapers on the support for Koizumi and his principal policy. This study uses individual-level data collected immediately after Koizumi’s 2005 landslide win. The major findings are: (1) frequency of exposure to mass media is positively related to support for Koizumi but not to support for his principal policy and (2) the effect of watching television is only observed for women and that of reading the newspaper only for men. Thus, a charismatic male leader on television has a greater influence than his policy on female voters. The psychological effect of an “attractive” male leader on female voters is amplified through television. Despite no support from special interest groups, Koizumi won the election because of a televised superstar effect.

Suggested Citation

  • Yamamura, Eiji & Sbatini, Fabio, 2014. "Superstars in politics: the role of the media in the koizumi regime," MPRA Paper 56093, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:56093
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ruben Enikolopov & Maria Petrova & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2011. "Media and Political Persuasion: Evidence from Russia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 3253-3285, December.
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    3. Stefano DellaVigna & Ethan Kaplan, 2007. "The Fox News Effect: Media Bias and Voting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1187-1234.
    4. Antoci, Angelo & Sabatini, Fabio & Sodini, Mauro, 2012. "The Solaria syndrome: Social capital in a growing hyper-technological economy," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(3), pages 802-814.
    5. Sabatini, Fabio & Sarracino, Francesco, 2013. "Will Facebook save or destroy social capital? An empirical investigation into the effect of online interactions on trust and networks," EconStor Preprints 88145, ZBW - German National Library of Economics.
    6. Tsutsui, Yoshiro & Kimball, Miles & Ohtake, Fumio, 2010. "Koizumi carried the day: Did the Japanese election results make people happy and unhappy?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 12-24, March.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Mass media; television; newspaper; election; Koizumi regime; superstar effect;

    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
    • L88 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Government Policy

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