Exposure to Television and Individual Beliefs: Evidence from a Natural Experiment

42 Pages Posted: 4 Feb 2013

See all articles by Tanja Hennighausen

Tanja Hennighausen

University of Mannheim - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 2013

Abstract

Does the information provided by mass media have the power to persistently affect individual beliefs about the drivers of success in life? To answer this question empirically, this contribution exploits a natural experiment on the reception of West German television in the former German Democratic Republic. After identifying the impact of Western television on individual beliefs and attitudes in the late 1980s, longitudinal data from the German Socio-Economic Panel is used to test the persistence of the television effect on individual beliefs during the 1990s. The empirical findings indicate that Western television exposure has made East Germans more inclined to believe that effort rather than luck determines success in life. Furthermore, this effect still persists several years after the German reunification.

Keywords: media, beliefs, East Germany, SOEP

JEL Classification: D78, D83, H89, P39

Suggested Citation

Hennighausen, Tanja, Exposure to Television and Individual Beliefs: Evidence from a Natural Experiment (January 2013). SOEPpaper No. 535, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2211450 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2211450

Tanja Hennighausen (Contact Author)

University of Mannheim - Department of Economics ( email )

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