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The Safest Time to Fly: Pandemic Response in the Era of Fox News

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  • Ananyev, Maxim
  • Poyker, Michael
  • Tian, Yuan

Abstract

We document a causal effect of conservative Fox News Channel in the United States on physical distancing during COVID-19 pandemic. We measure county-level mobility covering all U.S. states and District of Columbia produced by GPS pings to 15-17 million smartphones and zip-code-level mobility using Facebook location data. Then, using the historical position of Fox News Channel in the cable lineup as the source of exogenous variation, we show that increased exposure to Fox News led to a smaller reduction in distance traveled and smaller increase in the probability to stay home after the national emergency declaration in the United States. Our results show that slanted media can have a harmful effect on containment efforts during a pandemic by affecting people's behaviour.

Suggested Citation

  • Ananyev, Maxim & Poyker, Michael & Tian, Yuan, 2020. "The Safest Time to Fly: Pandemic Response in the Era of Fox News," GLO Discussion Paper Series 742, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:742
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    Cited by:

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    2. Caselli, Mauro & Fracasso, Andrea, 2021. "Covid-19 and Technology," GLO Discussion Paper Series 1001, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    3. Theresa Kuchler & Johannes Stroebel, 2022. "Social Interactions, Resilience, and Access to Economic Opportunity: A Research Agenda for the Field of Computational Social Science," CESifo Working Paper Series 9606, CESifo.
    4. Leonardo Bursztyn & Aakaash Rao & Christopher Roth & David Yanagizawa-Drott, 2022. "Opinions as Facts," ECONtribute Discussion Papers Series 159, University of Bonn and University of Cologne, Germany.
    5. Maxim Ananyev & Michael Poyker & Yuan Tian, 2021. "The safest time to fly: pandemic response in the era of Fox News," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 34(3), pages 775-802, July.
    6. Deopa, Neha & Fortunato, Piergiuseppe, 2021. "Coronagraben in Switzerland: Culture and social distancing in times of COVID-19," GLO Discussion Paper Series 857, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    7. Tian, Yuan & Caballero, Maria Esther & Kovak, Brian K., 2022. "Social learning along international migrant networks," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 195(C), pages 103-121.
    8. Neha Deopa & Piergiuseppe Fortunato, 2021. "Coronagraben in Switzerland: culture and social distancing in times of COVID-19," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 34(4), pages 1355-1383, October.
    9. Ashani Amarasinghe & Paul A. Raschky, 2022. "Competing for Attention – The Effect of Talk Radio on Elections and Political Polarization in the US," Monash Economics Working Papers 2022-13, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    10. Egorov, Georgy & Enikolopov, Ruben & Makarin, Alexey & Petrova, Maria, 2021. "Divided we stay home: Social distancing and ethnic diversity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 194(C).
    11. Iglesias, Emma M., 2022. "The influence of extreme events such as Brexit and Covid-19 on equity markets," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 418-430.
    12. Porismita Borah & Kyle Lorenzano & Anastasia Vishnevskaya & Erica Austin, 2022. "Conservative Media Use and COVID-19 Related Behavior: The Moderating Role of Media Literacy Variables," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 19(13), pages 1-13, June.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Mobility; Media Bias; Fox News; COVID-19;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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