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Local Television, Citizen Knowledge and Political Accountability: Evidence from the U.S. Senate
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics.
2015 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

I investigate the causal eect of access to relevant local television on i) U.S. citizens'

knowledge of their senators' actions in the Senate and ii) whether citizens hold their

senators accountable for these actions. To do so, I utilize the mismatch between the

local television markets and the states. This mismatch causes citizens living in counties

where local television stations are based in their own state (in-state counties) to have

greater access to relevant news about their senators, compared to citizens living in coun-

ties served by local television based in a neighboring state (out-of-state counties). Using

survey data from the 2006 Cooperative Congressional Election Study, I find that the

biased coverage of local television news leads to citizens in in-state counties, compared

to out-of-state counties, to be more informed about their senators' roll-call votes, as

well as more likely to hold opinions about these senators. However, I do not find that

the increased knowledge aects the likelihood that citizens evaluate their senators based

on the roll-call votes. This result suggests that passively acquired information through

local television is not su-cient for individuals to hold their senators accountable for

their actions in the Senate.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala, 2015. , 45 p.
Working paper / Department of Economics, Uppsala University (Online), ISSN 1653-6975 ; 2015:5
Keyword [en]
Local television;political information; natural experiment; roll-call votes
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-264439OAI: diva2:860393
Available from: 2015-10-12 Created: 2015-10-12 Last updated: 2015-10-13Bibliographically approved

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