Does fake news affect voting behaviour?

Michele Cantarella, Nicolò Fraccaroli, Roberto Volpe

Forskningsoutput: ArbetsdokumentProfessionell

Sammanfattning

We study the impact of fake news on votes for populist parties in the Italian elections of 2018. Our empirical strategy exploits the presence of Italian- and German-speaking voters in the Italian region of Trentino Alto-Adige/Südtirol as an exogenous source of assignment to fake news exposure. Using municipal data, we compare the effect of exposure to fake news on the vote for populist parties in the 2013 and 2018 elections. To do so, we introduce a novel indicator of populism using text mining on the Facebook posts of Italian parties before the elections. We find that exposure to fake news is positively correlated with vote for populist parties, but that less than half of this correlation is causal. Our findings support the view that exposure to fake news (i) favours populist parties, but also that (ii) it is positively correlated with prior support for populist parties, suggesting a self-selection mechanism.
Originalspråkengelska
UtgivningsortRome
UtgivareCEIS Centre for economic and international studies
Antal sidor13
StatusPublicerad - 2020
MoE-publikationstypD4 Publicerad utvecklings- eller forskningsrapport eller studie

Vetenskapsgrenar

  • 511 Nationalekonomi
  • 517 Statsvetenskap

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