Does Social Media Promote Democracy? Some Empirical Evidence
27 Pages Posted: 28 Nov 2018
Date Written: 2018
This study explores the relationship between social media and democracy in a cross-section of over 125 countries around the world. We find the evidence of a strong, positive correlation between Facebook penetration (a proxy for social media) and democracy. We further show that the correlation between social media and democracy is stronger for low-income countries than high-income countries. Our lowest point estimates indicate that a one-standard deviation (about 18 percentage point) increase in Facebook penetration is associated with about 8-point (on a scale of 0-100) increase for the world sample and over 11 points improvement for low-income countries.
Keywords: Democracy; Information; Facebook; Internet; Social Media
JEL Classification: D72; D83; O1
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