Ideological Segregation Online and Offline
University of Chicago - Booth School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Jesse M. Shapiro
University of Chicago; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
April 13, 2010
Chicago Booth Research Paper No. 10-19
Chicago Booth Initiative on Global Markets Working Paper No. 55.
We use individual and aggregate data to ask how the Internet is changing the ideological segregation of the American electorate. Focusing on online news consumption, offline news consumption, and face-to-face social interactions, we define ideological segregation in each domain using standard indices from the literature on racial segregation. We find that ideological segregation of online news consumption is low in absolute terms, higher than the segregation of most offline news consumption, and significantly lower than the segregation of face-to-face interactions with neighbors, co-workers, or family members. We find no evidence that the Internet is becoming more segregated over time.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 52
Keywords: News, Internet, Echo Chambers
JEL Classification: D83, L86
Date posted: April 13, 2010 ; Last revised: July 4, 2014