Ideological Segregation Online and Offline

Chicago Booth Research Paper No. 10-19

Chicago Booth Initiative on Global Markets Working Paper No. 55.

52 Pages Posted: 13 Apr 2010 Last revised: 4 Jul 2014

Matthew Gentzkow

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)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 13, 2010

Abstract

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.

Keywords: News, Internet, Echo Chambers

JEL Classification: D83, L86

Suggested Citation

Gentzkow, Matthew and Shapiro, Jesse M., Ideological Segregation Online and Offline (April 13, 2010). Chicago Booth Initiative on Global Markets Working Paper No. 55.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1588920 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1588920

Matthew Aaron Gentzkow

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Jesse M. Shapiro (Contact Author)

University of Chicago ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-834-2688 (Phone)
773-834-8172 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://home.uchicago.edu/~jmshapir/

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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