Maurizio Pisati

Il video e il voto. Gli effetti dell'informazione politica televisiva sulle elezioni del 1996

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract


The effect of TV on voting behavior has long been debated in the politological and sociological literature. As far as the Italian case is concerned, the current interpretations of existing evidence might have overstated the role played by television in determining the upshot of the electoral competition. The purpose of the essay is to reassess this question by a) focusing on the 1996 Italian parliamentary election, and b) using a novel analytical approach - recently put forward by King and colleagues - based on stochastic simulation (Monte Carlo) techniques. Analyses show that TV did affect 1996 electoral results, "moving" 6% of voters towards the right-wing coalition. However, the substantial uncertainty (both statistical and fundamental) that surrounds this point estimate makes it unfeasible to gauge the real "intensity" of the TV effect. The available data, though demonstrating the existence of a statistically significant relationship between TV exposure and voting behavior in Italy, do not allow to firmly establish whether TV plays a crucial role in the electoral competition.

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