Seminar Papers, Institute for International Economic Studies, Stockholm University
The Fox News Effect: Media Bias and Voting
() and Ethan Kaplan
Abstract: Does media bias affect voting? We analyze the entry of Fox
News in cable markets and its impact on voting. Between October 1996 and
November 2000, the conservative Fox News Channel was introduced in the
cable programming of 20 percent of US towns. Fox News availability in 2000
appears to be largely idiosyncratic, conditional on a set of controls.
Using a data set of voting data for 9,256 towns, we investigate if
republicans gained vote share in towns where Fox News entered the cable
market by the year 2000. We find a significant effect of the introduction
of Fox News on the vote share in Presidential elections between 1996 and
2000. Republicans gained 0.4 to 0.7 percentage points in the towns which
broadcast Fox News. Fox News also a��ected the Republican
vote share in the Senate and voter turnout. Our estimates imply that Fox
News convinced 3 to 28 percent of its viewers to vote Republican, depending
on the audience measure. The Fox News effect could be a temporary learning
effect for rational voters, or a permanent effect for non-rational voters
subject to persuasion.
Keywords: -; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: C53; H10; (follow links to similar papers)
40 pages, August 18, 2006
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