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Television Market Size and Political Accountability in the US House of Representatives

Balles, Patrick and Matter, Ulrich and Stutzer, Alois. (2022) Television Market Size and Political Accountability in the US House of Representatives. IZA Discussion Papers, (15277).

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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.
Faculties and Departments:06 Faculty of Business and Economics > Departement Wirtschaftswissenschaften > Professuren Wirtschaftswissenschaften > Politische ├ľkonomie (Stutzer)
UniBasel Contributors:Stutzer, Alois
Item Type:Working Paper
Publisher:IZA - Institute of Labor Economics
ISSN:2365-9793
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Discussion paper / Internet publication
Language:English
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Last Modified:30 Jan 2023 15:36
Deposited On:30 Jan 2023 09:58

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