IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/wrk/warwec/1181.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Politics in the Facebook Era Evidence from the 2016 US Presidential Elections

Author

Listed:
  • Liberini, Federica

    (ETH Zurich, Department of Economics)

  • Redoano, Michela

    (University of Warwick, Department of Economics)

  • Russo, Antonio

    (ETH Zurich,Department of Economics)

  • Cuevas, Angel

    (University Carlos III, Department of Telematic Engeneering)

  • Cuevas, Ruben

    (University Carlos III, Department of Telematic Engeneering)

Abstract

Social media enable politicians to personalize their campaigns and target voters who may be decisive for the outcome of elections. We assess the effects of such political "micro-targeting" by exploiting variation in daily advertising prices on Facebook, collected during the course of the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign. We analyze the variation of prices across political ideologies and propose a measure for the intensity of online political campaigns. Combining this measure with information from the ANES electoral survey, we address two fundamental questions: (i) To what extent did political campaigns use social media to micro-target voters? (ii) How large was the effect, if any, on voters who were heavily exposed to campaigning on social media? We find that online political campaigns targeted on users' gender, geographic location, and political ideology had a signi cant e ect in persuading undecided voters to support Mr Trump, and in persuading Republican supporters to turn out on polling day. Moreover the effect of micro-targeting on Facebook was strongest among users without university or college-level education.

Suggested Citation

  • Liberini, Federica & Redoano, Michela & Russo, Antonio & Cuevas, Angel & Cuevas, Ruben, 2018. "Politics in the Facebook Era Evidence from the 2016 US Presidential Elections," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1181, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:1181
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/workingpapers/2018/twerp_1181_redoano.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Brett R. Gordon & Wesley R. Hartmann, 2016. "Advertising competition in presidential elections," Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 1-40, March.
    2. Gerber, Alan S. & Gimpel, James G. & Green, Donald P. & Shaw, Daron R., 2011. "How Large and Long-lasting Are the Persuasive Effects of Televised Campaign Ads? Results from a Randomized Field Experiment," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 105(1), pages 135-150, February.
    3. 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.
    4. Petrova, Maria & Sen, Ananya & Yildirim, Pinar, 2017. "Social Media and Political Donations: New Technology and Incumbency Advantage in the United States," CEPR Discussion Papers 11808, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Levi Boxell & Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2017. "Is the Internet Causing Political Polarization? Evidence from Demographics," NBER Working Papers 23258, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:1181. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Margaret Nash). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/dewaruk.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.