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Internet and politics: evidence from U.K. local elections and local government policies

Gavazza, Alessandro, Nardotto, Mattia and Valletti, Tommaso (2019) Internet and politics: evidence from U.K. local elections and local government policies. Review of Economic Studies, 86 (5). 2092 – 2135. ISSN 0034-6527

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Identification Number: 10.1093/restud/rdy028

Abstract

We empirically study the effects of broadband internet diffusion on local election outcomes and on local government policies using rich data from the U.K. Our analysis shows that the internet has displaced other media with greater news content (i.e. radio and newspapers), thereby decreasing voter turnout, most notably among less-educated and younger individuals. In turn, we find suggestive evidence that local government expenditures and taxes are lower in areas with greater broadband diffusion, particularly expenditures targeted at less-educated voters. Our findings are consistent with the idea that voters’ information plays a key role in determining electoral participation, government policies, and government size.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://academic.oup.com/restud
Additional Information: © 2018 The Authors
Divisions: Economics
Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
JEL classification: D - Microeconomics > D7 - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making > D72 - Economic Models of Political Processes: Rent-Seeking, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
H - Public Economics > H7 - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations > H72 - State and Local Budget and Expenditures
H - Public Economics > H7 - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations > H75 - State and Local Government: Health, Education, and Welfare
L - Industrial Organization > L8 - Industry Studies: Services > L82 - Entertainment; Media (Performing Arts, Visual Arts, Broadcasting, Publishing, etc.)
L - Industrial Organization > L8 - Industry Studies: Services > L86 - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software
N - Economic History > N4 - Government, War, Law, and Regulation > N44 - Europe: 1913-
Sets: Departments > Economics
Date Deposited: 28 Mar 2018 10:35
Last Modified: 20 May 2021 00:04
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/87365

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