Social Media and Political Donations: New Technology and Incumbency Advantage in the United States

68 Pages Posted: 30 Jan 2017

See all articles by Maria Petrova

Maria Petrova

Barcelona Graduate School of Economics (Barcelona GSE)

Ananya Sen

Carnegie Mellon University - H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management

Pinar Yildirim

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School

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Date Written: January 2017

Abstract

Can new technologies increase political competition? We study the impact of adopting Twitter on campaign contributions received by politicians. For identification, we compare donations just before and just after politicians open Twitter accounts in regions with high and low levels of Twitter penetration, controlling for politician-month fixed effects. We estimate that opening a Twitter account amounts to an increase of at least 2-3% in donations per campaign. This effect is stronger for new politicians, who were never elected before, for donations coming from new donors, for politicians who tweet more informatively, and for politicians from regions with lower newspaper circulation.

Suggested Citation

Petrova, Maria and Sen, Ananya and Yildirim, Pinar, Social Media and Political Donations: New Technology and Incumbency Advantage in the United States (January 2017). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP11808. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2908221

Maria Petrova (Contact Author)

Barcelona Graduate School of Economics (Barcelona GSE) ( email )

Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27
Barcelona, Barcelona 08005
Spain

Ananya Sen

Carnegie Mellon University - H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management ( email )

4800 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA Pittsburgh 15213-3890
United States

Pinar Yildirim

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School ( email )

3641 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6365
United States

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