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Does candidates’ media exposure affect vote shares? Evidence from Pope breaking news

Giulia Caprini

Journal of Public Economics, 2023, vol. 220, issue C

Abstract: I study the impact of politicians’ media exposure in campaign on their vote share, exploiting an exogenous change in coverage during the Italian 2013 electoral race. Right before the election, the Pope Benedict XVI suddenly resigned and broadcast coverage of politics markedly dropped. Only five days of lower visibility of the right-wing leader and TV tycoon Berlusconi (-26 percentage points) caused a 2 percentage points dip in his vote share, and lead to his defeat by 0.4 percentage points. Following the TV coverage disruption, a part of Berlusconi’s electorate resorted to Internet for political news, and later favored a new party with Internet-centred propaganda.

Keywords: TV coverage; Media; Politics; Voting (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D72 D83 G14 L82 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2023
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2023.104847

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