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

  • Yamamura, Eiji
  • Sabatini, Fabio

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.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 56178.

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Date of creation: 06 May 2014
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:56178
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  1. Eiji Yamamura & Haruo Kondoh, 2013. "Government Transparency And Expenditure In The Rent-Seeking Industry: The Case Of Japan For 1998–2004," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 31(3), pages 635-647, 07.
  2. Takero Doi & Toshihiro Ihori, 2009. "The Public Sector in Japan," Books, Edward Elgar, number 12752, March.
  3. Ruben Enikolopov & Maria Petrova & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2009. "Media and Political Persuasion: Evidence from Russia," Working Papers w0113, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
  4. Petrova, Maria, 2008. "Inequality and media capture," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1-2), pages 183-212, February.
  5. Berri, David J. & Simmons, Rob & Van Gilder, Jennifer & O'Neill, Lisle, 2011. "What does it mean to find the face of the franchise? Physical attractiveness and the evaluation of athletic performance," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 111(3), pages 200-202, June.
  6. Yoshiro Tsutsui & Miles Kimball & Fumio Ohtake, 2007. "Koizumi Carried the Day: Did the Japanese Election Results Make People Happy and Unhappy?," ISER Discussion Paper 0695, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  7. Sabatini, Fabio & Antoci, Angelo & Sodini, Mauro, 2010. "The Solaria Syndrome: Social Capital in a Growing Hyper-technological Economy," AICCON Working Papers 71-2010, Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit.
  8. Fabio Sabatini & Francesco Sarracino, 2013. "Will Facebook save or destroy social capital? An empirical investigation into the effect of online interactions on trust and networks," Department of Economics University of Siena 692, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
  9. Stefano DellaVigna & Ethan Kaplan, 2007. "The Fox News Effect: Media Bias and Voting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1187-1234, 08.
  10. Masami Imai, 2009. "Ideologies, vested interest groups, and postal saving privatization in Japan," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 138(1), pages 137-160, January.
  11. Bruni, Luigino & Stanca, Luca, 2008. "Watching alone: Relational goods, television and happiness," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 65(3-4), pages 506-528, March.
  12. Matthew Gentzkow, 2006. "Television and Voter Turnout," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(3), pages 931-972, 08.
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