E-lections: Voting Behavior and the Internet

Oliver Falck*, Robert Gold, Stephan Heblich

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper analyzes the effects on voting behavior of information disseminated over the Internet. We address endogeneity in Internet availability by exploiting regional and technological peculiarities of the preexisting voice telephony network that hindered the roll-out of fixed-line infrastructure for high-speed Internet. We find negative effects of Internet availability on voter turnout, which we relate to a crowding-out of TV consumption and increased entertainment consumption. We find no evidence that the Internet systematically benefits specific parties, suggesting ideological self-segregation in online information consumption. Robustness tests, including placebo estimations from the pre-Internet period, support a causal interpretation of our results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2238-2265
Number of pages28
JournalAmerican Economic Review
Volume104
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014

Keywords

  • VOTER TURNOUT
  • BROAD-BAND
  • MEDIA BIAS
  • NEWSPAPERS
  • ACCOUNTABILITY
  • COMPETITION
  • COVERAGE
  • WAGES

Cite this