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Mobile internet and the rise of political tribalism in Europe

Marco Manacorda, Guido Tabellini and Andrea Tesei

LSE Research Online Documents on Economics from London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library

Abstract: We study the political effects of the diffusion of mobile Internet between 2007 and 2017, using data on electoral outcomes and on mobile Internet signal across the 84,564 municipalities of 22 European countries. We find that access to mobile Internet increased voters' support for right-wing populist parties and for parties running on extreme socially conservative platforms, primarily in areas with greater economic deprivation. Using survey data, we also show that mobile Internet increased communitarian attitudes, such as nationalism and dislike of strangers and minorities. We conclude that mobile Internet benefitted right-wing populist parties because, in line with findings in social psychology, it fostered offline tribalism.

Keywords: populism; communitarianism; Europe; mobile internet (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D72 D91 L86 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 72 pages
Date: 2022-10-14
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ict, nep-pay, nep-pol and nep-soc
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