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Television Market Size and Political Accountability in the US House of Representatives
Discussion paper / Internet publication
ID 4658882
Digital Object Identifier DOI 10.2139/ssrn.4114861
Author(s) Balles, Patrick; Matter, Ulrich; Stutzer, Alois
Author(s) at UniBasel Stutzer, Alois
Year 2022
Month and day 05-01
Title Television Market Size and Political Accountability in the US House of Representatives
Series title IZA Discussion Papers
Number 15277
Publisher / Institution IZA - Institute of Labor Economics
Abstract This paper examines the role of local TV market structure in US congressional politics, exploiting variation in the overlaps of political markets and TV markets. Local TV stations are hypothesized to report relatively more per US House representative in less populous markets (where the number of House districts covered is smaller), leading to better informed voters and more accountable representatives. We find that smaller markets are indeed associated with (i) higher coverage of representatives, and (ii) a higher level of voters' knowledge about their representatives. However, (iii) representatives of smaller and more congruent markets are only more likely to decide aligned with their constituents' policy preferences in highly competitive districts. This evidence suggests that local political news coverage on TV serves as a complement rather than a substitute in holding members of the US Congress accountable.
ISSN 2365-9793
Full Text on edoc Available

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