The Causal Effect of Media-Driven Political Interest on Political Attitudes and Behavior

Daniel M. Butler
2011 Quarterly Journal of Political Science  
This article considers the hypothesis that media-driven political interest shapes party identification, the timing of vote decisions, and electoral participation. To estimate the effect of media-driven political interest, we make a key distinction between political interest as a lifetime political orientation and political interest that rises and falls with the occurrence of noteworthy political events. We then exploit the shared media markets in Switzerland and its neighboring countries to
more » ... ng countries to overcome the otherwise crippling endogeneity problem and identify exogenous increases in Swiss citizens' self-reported political interest caused by the coverage of national elections in France, Germany, and Italy. We find that media-driven political interest increases the length of time individuals use to make their vote decisions, decreases partisanship, and increases self-reported and actual turnout. *
doi:10.1561/100.00010041 fatcat:rpbckrf7avezxci43xtzdey5ey