Pope Breaking News: Does Candidates' Visibility On TV Affect Their Vote Share?
60 Pages Posted: 20 Jan 2020
Date Written: October 15, 2019
This paper exploits a natural experiment to identify the causal effect of candidates' TV visibility in campaign on vote shares. Before the 2013 Italian general election, Pope Benedict XVI suddenly resigned, and politics TV coverage sharply dropped. The candidate whose communication hinged on TV (Berlusconi) lost 26 percentage points of visibility. This translated into a vote share loss of 2 percentage points, determining his defeat by 0.4 percentage points. The effect of TV visibility on votes is found to be negligible in absolute terms. However, it becomes pivotal in a close election, when information on candidates is more valuable.
Keywords: TV Coverage, Media, Politics, Voting, Business Politician
JEL Classification: L82, D72, D83, G14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation