Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/130776
Authors: 
Durante, Ruben
Pinotti, Paolo
Tesei, Andrea
Year of Publication: 
2015
Series/Report no.: 
Working Paper, School of Economics and Finance, Queen Mary University of London 762
Abstract: 
We investigate the political impact of entertainment television in Italy over the past thirty years by exploiting the staggered introduction of Silvio Berlusconi's commercial TV network, Mediaset, in the early 1980s. We find that individuals in municipalities that had access to Mediaset prior to 1985 - when the network only featured light entertainment programs - were significantly more likely to vote for Berlusconi's party in 1994, when he first ran for office. This effect persists for almost two decades and five elections, and is especially pronounced for heavy TV viewers, namely the very young and the old. We relate the extreme persistence of the effect to the relative incidence of these age groups in the voting population, and explore different mechanisms through which early exposure to entertainment content may have influenced their political attitudes.
Subjects: 
Television
Entertainment
Voting
Political participation
Italy Television
Entertainment
Voting
Political participation
Italy
JEL: 
L82
D72
Z13
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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