The Political Legacy of Entertainment TV
AbstractWe study the political impact of commercial television in Italy exploiting the staggered introduction of Berlusconi's private 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 elderly. Regarding possible mechanisms, we find that individuals exposed to entertainment TV as children were less cognitively sophisticated and civic-minded as adults, and ultimately more vulnerable to Berlusconi's populist rhetoric.
CitationDurante, Ruben, Paolo Pinotti, and Andrea Tesei. 2019. "The Political Legacy of Entertainment TV." American Economic Review, 109 (7): 2497-2530. DOI: 10.1257/aer.20150958
- D72 Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
- L82 Entertainment; Media
- M31 Marketing
- Z13 Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification