Political Effects of the Internet and Social Media

Forthcoming, Annual Review of Economics. DOI/10.1146/annurev-economics-081919-050239

30 Pages Posted: 22 Aug 2019 Last revised: 6 Sep 2019

See all articles by Ekaterina Zhuravskaya

Ekaterina Zhuravskaya

Paris School of Economics (PSE)

Maria Petrova

Institute for Political Economy and Governance, Barcelona; Catalan Institution of Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA); Universitat Pompeu Fabra; Barcelona Graduate School of Economics (Barcelona GSE); New Economic School (NES)

Ruben Enikolopov

Institute of Political Economy and Governance; New Economic School; ICREA; Universitat Pompeu Fabra; Barcelona GSE

Date Written: August 15, 2019

Abstract

How do the internet and social media affect political outcomes? We review empirical evidence from the recent political economy literature focusing especially on the work that considers those features that distinguish the internet and social media from traditional offline media, such as low barriers to entry and reliance on user-generated content. We discuss the main results about the effects of the internet, in general, and social media, in particular, on voting, street protests, attitudes toward government, political polarization, xenophobia, and politicians’ behavior. We also review evidence on the role of social media in the dissemination of false news and summarize results about the strategies employed by autocratic regimes to censor internet and to use social media for surveillance and propaganda. We conclude by highlighting the key open questions about how the internet and social media shape politics in democracies and autocracies.

Suggested Citation

Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina and Petrova, Maria and Enikolopov, Ruben, Political Effects of the Internet and Social Media (August 15, 2019). Forthcoming, Annual Review of Economics. DOI/10.1146/annurev-economics-081919-050239. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3439957 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3439957

Ekaterina Zhuravskaya (Contact Author)

Paris School of Economics (PSE) ( email )

48 Boulevard Jourdan
Paris, 75014 75014
France

Maria Petrova

Institute for Political Economy and Governance, Barcelona ( email )

Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27
Barcelona, 08005
Spain

Catalan Institution of Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA) ( email )

Passeig Lluís Companys, 23
Barcelona, 08010
Spain

Universitat Pompeu Fabra ( email )

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

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

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

New Economic School (NES) ( email )

100A Novaya Street
Moscow, Skolkovo 143026
Russia

Ruben Enikolopov

Institute of Political Economy and Governance ( email )

Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27
Barcelona, 08005
Spain

New Economic School ( email )

Skolkovskoe shosse 45
Moscow, Skolkovo 143026
Russia

ICREA ( email )

Passeig Lluís Companys, 23
Barcelona, 08010
Spain

Universitat Pompeu Fabra ( email )

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

Barcelona GSE ( email )

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

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