Must Watch Propaganda: The Marginal Treatment Effect of Foreign Media among Always-Takers

62 Pages Posted: 12 Aug 2022

See all articles by Robert Gulotty

Robert Gulotty

University of Chicago

Arthur Yu

University of Chicago - Department of Political Science

Date Written: August 9, 2022

Abstract

Studies of political persuasion often use an exogenous encouragement as an instrument for persuasive messaging. However, for some people, such encouragement is insufficient, while for others it is unnecessary. These individuals are excluded from methods that only estimate a treatment effect among compliers. Our paper provides identification results for the average treatment effects of non-compliers using the marginal treatment effect framework. With these tools we extend research finding that exposure to West German television increases support for communism. We find that, because of self-selection, for those who watch West German TV regardless of signal quality, i.e. always-takers, cutting off West German television would have increased support for communism. Our extrapolation shows that media choices reinforce, rather than mollify, political preferences.

Keywords: Political persuasion, instrumental variable, non-compliance, marginal treatment effect, linear programming, partial identification

Suggested Citation

Gulotty, Robert and Yu, Zeyang, Must Watch Propaganda: The Marginal Treatment Effect of Foreign Media among Always-Takers (August 9, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4186399 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4186399

Robert Gulotty

University of Chicago ( email )

1101 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Zeyang Yu (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Department of Political Science ( email )

1101 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

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