American Economic Review: Vol. 101 No. 7 (December 2011)


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Media and Political Persuasion: Evidence from Russia

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Enikolopov, Ruben, Maria Petrova, and Ekaterina Zhuravskaya. 2011. "Media and Political Persuasion: Evidence from Russia." American Economic Review, 101(7): 3253-85.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.101.7.3253


This paper compares electoral outcomes of 1999 parliamentary elections in Russia among geographical areas with differential access to the only national TV channel independent from the government. It was available to three-quarters of Russia's population and its signal availability was idiosyncratic, conditional on observables. Independent TV decreased aggregate vote for the government party by 8.9 percentage points, increased the combined vote for major opposition parties by 6.3 percentage points, and decreased turnout by 3.8 percentage points. The probability of voting for opposition parties increased for individuals who watched independent TV even controlling for voting intentions measured one month before elections. (JEL D72, L82, P26)

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Enikolopov, Ruben (New Economic School, Moscow)
Petrova, Maria (New Economic School, Moscow)
Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina (Paris School of Economics and New Economic School, Moscow)

JEL Classifications

D72: Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
L82: Entertainment; Media
P26: Socialist Systems and Transitional Economies: Political Economy; Property Rights

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