8:04 AM, July 1, 2011

Counts of U.S. Daily Newspapers by City and Political Affiliation, 1869-2004

New data on entries and exits of United States daily newspapers from 1869 to 2004 were used to estimate effects on political participation, party vote shares, and electoral competitiveness. The identification strategy exploits the precise timing of these events and allows for the possibility of confounding trends. Analysis focused on the years 1869-1928, and the remaining years of data were used to look at changes over time.

Newspapers were found to have a robust positive effect on political participation, with one additional newspaper increasing both presidential and congressional turnout by approximately 0.3 percentage points. Newspaper competition was not a key driver of turnout: the effect is driven mainly by the first newspaper in a market, and the effect of a second or third paper was significantly smaller. The effect on presidential turnout diminishes after the introduction of radio and television, while the estimated effect on congressional turnout remains similar up to recent years. No evidence was found that partisan newspapers affect party vote shares, with confidence intervals that rule out even moderate-sized effects. No clear evidence was found that newspapers systematically help or hurt incumbents.

This dataset is available through the ICPSR (Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research) database which provides search and browsing access to abstracts and data sets in the world's largest archive of computerized social science data. Search or browse title of study, principal investigator, words in abstract, or study number. Browse major research categories..  Auburn University students, faculty, and staff only may create an account that will allow access to the membership-only data.

Please contact Barbara Bishop at bishoba@auburn.edu or (334) 844-1690 if you need more information concerning ICPSR .

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