Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=903812
 
 

References (27)



 
 

Citations (47)



 


 



Does the Media Matter? A Field Experiment Measuring the Effect of Newspapers on Voting Behavior and Political Opinions


Alan Gerber


Yale University - Department of Political Science

Dean S. Karlan


Yale University; Innovations for Poverty Action; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Daniel Bergan


Yale University

February 15, 2006

Yale Economic Applications and Policy Discussion Paper No. 12

Abstract:     
This paper reports the results of a natural field experiment to measure the effect of exposure to newspapers on political behavior and opinion. The Washington DC area is served by two major newspapers, the Washington Times and the Washington Post. We randomly assigned individuals either to receive a free subscription to the Washington Post, to receive a free subscription to the Washington Times, or to a control group. We then conducted a public opinion survey after the 2005 Virginia gubernatorial election. We find that those assigned to the Post treatment group were eight percentage points more likely to vote for the Democratic candidate for governor than those assigned to the control group. We find similar but weaker evidence of shifts in public opinion on specific issues and attitudes.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 46

Keywords: media, newspapers, voting, information, public opinion, field experiment

JEL Classification: C93, D72, L82, P16

working papers series


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Date posted: May 24, 2006  

Suggested Citation

Gerber, Alan and Karlan, Dean S. and Bergan, Daniel, Does the Media Matter? A Field Experiment Measuring the Effect of Newspapers on Voting Behavior and Political Opinions (February 15, 2006). Yale Economic Applications and Policy Discussion Paper No. 12. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=903812

Contact Information

Alan Gerber
Yale University - Department of Political Science ( email )
Box 208269
New Haven, DC 06520-8269
United States
203-432-5232 (Phone)
Dean S. Karlan
Yale University ( email )
Box 208269
New Haven, CT 06520-8269
United States
Innovations for Poverty Action ( email )
New Haven, CT
United States
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab ( email )
E60-246
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
United States
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Daniel Bergan
Yale University ( email )
New Haven, CT 06520
United States
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