Internet Access and Political Engagement: Self-Selection or Causal Effect?

27 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2009 Last revised: 4 Jul 2014

See all articles by Martin Kroh

Martin Kroh

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) - German Socio Economic Panel

Hannes Neiss

European University Institute - Department of Political and Social Sciences (SPS)

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

A growing body of cross-sectional research documents higher rates of political mobilization in citizens using the Internet. One prominent thesis holds that this association represents a causal eff ect; the Internet is said to represent a cost-effcient way to become politically informed and its unique features attract particularly those citizens who are less active in traditional forms of political participation. The counterargument is that there exists a self-selection eff ect of politically attentive citizens into Internet use: it follows from this that the Internet may a ffect the form but not the level of political participation. The present study seeks to advance this ongoing debate by rigorously identifying the magnitude of a causal e ect of Internet access on political engagement using longitudinal data and a natural experiment.

Suggested Citation

Kroh, Martin and Neiss, Hannes, Internet Access and Political Engagement: Self-Selection or Causal Effect? (2009). APSA 2009 Toronto Meeting Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1451368

Martin Kroh (Contact Author)

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) - German Socio Economic Panel ( email )

DIW Berlin
Berlin, Berlin 14191
Germany

Hannes Neiss

European University Institute - Department of Political and Social Sciences (SPS) ( email )

Via dei Roccettini 9
San Domenico di Fiesole
Florence, 50014
Italy

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