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Do people demand fact-checked news? Evidence from U.S. Democrats

Felix Chopra, Ingar Haaland () and Christopher Roth

Journal of Public Economics, 2022, vol. 205, issue C

Abstract: In a large-scale online experiment with U.S. Democrats, we examine how the demand for a newsletter about an economic relief plan changes when the newsletter content is fact-checked. We first document an overall muted demand for fact-checking when the newsletter features stories from an ideologically aligned source, even though fact-checking increases the perceived accuracy of the newsletter. The average impact of fact-checking masks substantial heterogeneity by ideology: fact-checking reduces demand among Democrats with strong ideological views and increases demand among ideologically moderate Democrats. Furthermore, fact-checking increases demand among all Democrats when the newsletter features stories from an ideologically non-aligned source.

Keywords: Fact-checking; News demand; Information; Media bias; Belief polarization (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D83 D91 L82 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2021.104549

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