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E-Lections: Voting Behavior and the Internet

  • Falck, Oliver
  • Gold, Robert
  • Heblich, Stephan

This paper analyses the effect of information disseminated by the Internet on voting behavior. We address endogeneity in Internet availability by exploiting regional and technological peculiarities of the preexisting voice telephony network that hinder the roll-out of fixed-line broadband infrastructure for high-speed Internet. We find small negative effects of Internet availability on voter turnout, and no evidence that the Internet systematically benefits single parties. Robustness tests including placebo estimations from the pre-Internet era confirm our results. We relate differences in the Internet effect between national and local elections to a crowding out of national but not local newspapers.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/6491
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Paper provided by University of Stirling, Division of Economics in its series Stirling Economics Discussion Papers with number 2012-07.

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Date of creation: Apr 2012
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Handle: RePEc:stl:stledp:2012-07
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Division of Economics, University of Stirling, Stirling, Scotland FK9 4LA

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Web page: http://www.econ.stir.ac.uk/

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