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Does Competition Spur Social Media Deployment among Local Governments? Evidence from the Deployment of Facebook in the German State of Hesse

Ivo Bischoff () and Aleksandra Wimberger
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Ivo Bischoff: University of Kassel
Aleksandra Wimberger: University of Kassel

MAGKS Papers on Economics from Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung)

Abstract: We analyze the decision of local governments to deploy social media. We argue that – by deploying social media – governments send a signal of modernity, transparency and openness for dialogue to their citizens. We apply a hazard model to panel data on municipalities in the German state of Hesse (n = 422) and their appearance on Facebook between 2010 and 2019. Our main research question is: Does competitive pressure drive social media deployment? We find intense competition for mobile residents to promote social media deployment while no effect is found for tax competition. Facebook pages are more likely to emerge in years preceding mayoral elections as predicted by the theory of party competition with myopic voters. In line with the theory of yardstick competition, we find the probability that a certain municipality launches a Facebook page to increase in the number of its neighbors being present on Facebook.

Keywords: social media deployment; Facebook; local government; inter-jurisdictional competition; elections; Germany; hazard models (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H71 H83 R50 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 33 pages
Date: 2020
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