WiP: Antonio Schiavone

Title: "Is closure of local newspapers always bad for democracy? Evidence from US"

  • Data: 15 dicembre 2020 dalle 15:00 alle 16:00

  • Luogo: Microsoft Teams


Over the last two decades, US voters have become more and more polarised and the share of voters splitting their tickets has seen a sharp decrease. Evidence suggests that people split their tickets more when they have more information about candidates and thus when accountability is higher. We study how the closure of local newspapers in US counties is affecting voters’ polarization. Using an event-study approach for the even election years between 2006-2018, we find that the probability of splitting a voting ticket significantly decreases in counties that become a news desert (one or zero local newspapers). On the other hand, instrumenting the number of newspapers by the presence of Craigslist in a county, we find that over the same time period, split tickets increase when local newspapers close down. The combination of these results indicate the existence of a non-monotonic relation between information and polarization.