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The political legacy of entertainment TV

Ruben Durante, Paolo Pinotti and Andrea Tesei

CEP Discussion Papers from Centre for Economic Performance, LSE

Abstract: We study the political impact of entertainment television in Italy exploiting the staggered introduction of Berlusconi's commercial 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 elders. 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.

Keywords: entertainment TV; voting; cognitive abilities; civic engagement (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D72 L82 Z13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017-04-04
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cul, nep-his and nep-pol
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (11) Track citations by RSS feed

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Related works:
Journal Article: The Political Legacy of Entertainment TV (2019) Downloads
Working Paper: The Political Legacy of Entertainment TV (2015) Downloads
Working Paper: The Political Legacy of Entertainment TV (2015) Downloads
Working Paper: The Political Legacy of Entertainment TV (2015) Downloads
Working Paper: The Political Legacy of Entertainment TV (2015) Downloads
Working Paper: The Political Legacy of Entertainment TV (2015) Downloads
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