Economics at your fingertips  

Can media drive the electorate? The impact of media coverage on voting intentions

Ralf Dewenter, Melissa Linder and Tobias Thomas ()

European Journal of Political Economy, 2019, vol. 58, issue C, 245-261

Abstract: A growing literature uses media data to explain perception and behaviour in the economic and political context. In this paper, we investigate how media coverage affects political preferences, namely voting intention. For our empirical analysis, we merge 14 years of human-coded data obtained from leading media in Germany with results of the comprehensive German Politbarometer survey from February 1998 through December 2012. In contrast to the existing literature, we do not utilize access to certain media outlets, but use the tonality of articles and newscasts on political parties and politicians based on human coded media data. To account for endogeneity, we employ instrumental variable probit estimations. In addition, we control for a multitude of (internal) personal characteristics, such as age, and gender, as well as for (external) macroeconomic variables, such as business climate, unemployment, and inflation. The results show that media coverage of a political party has a positive and significant effect on the voting intention for this party. When media outlets cover a political party more positively, the electorate has a greater tendency to vote for it. Hence, we conclude that the electoral success or failure of political parties is at least partially caused by the media coverage on them. This hints on the special responsibility of media in democracies.

Keywords: Political preferences; Voting intention; Media impact (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C43 D (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (3) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

DOI: 10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2018.12.003

Access Statistics for this article

European Journal of Political Economy is currently edited by J. De Haan, A. L. Hillman and H. W. Ursprung

More articles in European Journal of Political Economy from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Haili He ().

Page updated 2020-09-25
Handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:58:y:2019:i:c:p:245-261