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American Economic Review: Vol. 99 No. 5 (December 2009)

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Media Markets and Localism: Does Local News en Español Boost Hispanic Voter Turnout?

Article Citation

Oberholzer-Gee, Felix, and Joel Waldfogel. 2009. "Media Markets and Localism: Does Local News en Español Boost Hispanic Voter Turnout?" American Economic Review, 99(5): 2120-28.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.99.5.2120

Abstract

In the past decade Americans have increasingly turned their attention to nonlocal information sources, raising concerns about disengagement from local communities. Regulation sometimes seeks to curtail the integration of media markets through the promotion of "localism." This paper examines the role of local media. We make use of the rapid growth of Hispanic communities in the United States to test whether the presence of local television news affects local civic behavior. We find that Hispanic voter turnout increased by 5 to 10 percentage points, relative to non-Hispanic turnout, in markets where Spanish-language local television news became available. (JEL D72, J15, L82)

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Authors

Oberholzer-Gee, Felix (Harvard U)
Waldfogel, Joel (U PA)

JEL Classifications

D72: Models of Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
J15: Economics of Minorities and Races; Non-labor Discrimination
L82: Entertainment; Media


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