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The Political Legacy of Entertainment TV

Author

Listed:
  • Ruben Durante

    (Département d'économie)

  • Paolo Pinotti

    (Università Bocconi)

  • Andrea Tesei

    (Queen Mary University of London)

Abstract

We investigate the political impact of entertainment television in Italy over the past thirty years by exploiting the staggered introduction of Silvio Berlusconi's commercial TV network, Mediaset, in the early 1980s. We find that individuals in municipalities that had access to Mediaset prior to 1985 - when the network only featured light entertainment programs - were significantly more likely to vote for Berlusconi's party in 1994, when he first ran for office. This effect persists for almost two decades and five elections, and is especially pronounced for heavy TV viewers, namely the very young and the old. We relate the extreme persistence of the effect to the relative incidence of these age groups in the voting population, and explore different mechanisms through which early exposure to entertainment content may have influenced their political attitudes.

Suggested Citation

  • Ruben Durante & Paolo Pinotti & Andrea Tesei, 2015. "The Political Legacy of Entertainment TV," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/gjf8d7tah8a, Sciences Po.
  • Handle: RePEc:spo:wpmain:info:hdl:2441/gjf8d7tah8ah9mq53gkdj73cq
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Marco Manacorda & Andrea Tesei, 2016. "Liberation Technology: Mobile Phones and Political Mobilization in Africa," HiCN Working Papers 217, Households in Conflict Network.
    2. Leonardo Bursztyn & Davide Cantoni & Patricia Funk & Noam Yuchtman, 2017. "Polls, the Press, and Political Participation: The Effects of Anticipated Election Closeness on Voter Turnout," NBER Working Papers 23490, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Alessandro Borin & Elisa Macchi & Michele Mancini, 2018. "Eu transfers and euroscepticism: can’t buy me love?," ECON - Working Papers 289, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
    4. Arnstein Aassve & Gianmarco Daniele & Marco Le Moglie, 2018. "Never Forget the First Time: The Persistent Effects of Corruption and the Rise of Populism in Italy," BAFFI CAREFIN Working Papers 1896, BAFFI CAREFIN, Centre for Applied Research on International Markets Banking Finance and Regulation, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.
    5. repec:eee:pubeco:v:165:y:2018:i:c:p:230-255 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:eee:pubeco:v:159:y:2018:i:c:p:1-15 is not listed on IDEAS
    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. repec:kap:pubcho:v:174:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s11127-017-0496-y is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Harry Pickard, 2019. "A mailshot in the dark? The impact of the UK government's lea fet on the 2016 EU referendum," Working Papers 2019004, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics.
    10. Mastrorocco, Nicola & Minale, Luigi, 2018. "News media and crime perceptions: Evidence from a natural experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 165(C), pages 230-255.
    11. Francesco Sobbrio, 2014. "The political economy of news media: theory, evidence and open issues," Chapters,in: A Handbook of Alternative Theories of Public Economics, chapter 13, pages 278-320 Edward Elgar Publishing.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Television; Entertainment; Voting; Political participation;

    JEL classification:

    • L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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