A Tear in the Iron Curtain: The Impact of Western Television on Consumption Behavior

49 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2012

See all articles by Leonardo Bursztyn

Leonardo Bursztyn

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Anderson School of Management

Davide Cantoni

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) - Faculty of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 2012

Abstract

This paper examines the impact of exposure to foreign media on the economic behavior of agents in a totalitarian regime. We study private consumption choices focusing on former East Germany, where differential access to Western television was determined by geographic features. Using data collected after the transition to a market economy, we find no evidence of a significant impact of previous exposure to Western television on aggregate consumption levels. However, exposure to Western broadcasts affects the composition of consumption, biasing choices in favor of categories of goods with high intensity of pre-reunification advertisement. The effects vanish by 1998.

Keywords: Advertising, Communism, Consumption, East Germany, Media, Television

JEL Classification: D12, E21, Z10

Suggested Citation

Bursztyn, Leonardo and Cantoni, Davide, A Tear in the Iron Curtain: The Impact of Western Television on Consumption Behavior (August 2012). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP9101. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2153482

Leonardo Bursztyn (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Anderson School of Management ( email )

110 Westwood Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1481
United States

Davide Cantoni

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) - Faculty of Economics ( email )

Ludwigstrasse 28
Munich, D-80539
Germany

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
1
Abstract Views
375
PlumX Metrics