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The political legacy of entertainment TV

Durante, Ruben, Pinotti, Paolo and Tesei, Andrea (2017) The political legacy of entertainment TV. CEP Discussion Papers (CEPDP1475). London School of Economics and Political Science. Centre for Economic Performance, London, UK.

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We study the political impact of entertainment television in Italy exploiting the staggered introduction of Berlusconi's commercial TV network, Mediaset, in the early 1980s. We find that individuals with early access to Mediaset all-entertainment content were more likely to vote for Berlusconi's party in 1994, when he first ran for office. The effect persists for five elections and is driven by heavy TV viewers, namely the very young and the elders. Regarding possible mechanisms, we find that individuals exposed to entertainment TV as children were less cognitively sophisticated and civicminded as adults, and ultimately more vulnerable to Berlusconi's populist rhetoric.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2017 The Authors
Divisions: Centre for Economic Performance
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2017 09:53
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2023 23:41
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council

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