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How Campaign Ads Stimulate Political Interest - TDPE

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Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs, Trade, Development and Political Economy 


Nathan Canen, Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Houston

How Campaign Ads Stimulate Political Interest 

Coauthored with Gregory J. Martin
The authors empirically investigate two key dynamic features of advertising competition in elections, using a new dataset of very high-frequency, household-level television viewing matched to campaign advertising exposures. First, they demonstrate that exposure to campaign advertising stimulates increased consumption of news programming: the average effect is a 4 minute increase in news viewing time over the next 24 hours. Second, viewers’ attention to political advertising declines over the campaign. These dynamic forces counteract the short shelf life of advertising’s direct persuasive effects, and rationalize the observation that the large majority of candidate-sponsored television advertising occurs more than two weeks prior to election day.
Nathan Canen is an Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Houston.  His main research interests are in Political Economy, Networks and Applied Econometrics. His current research agenda focuses on the organization of political institutions, such as political parties and Congress, as well as the networks therein. He holds a Ph.D in Economics from the University of British Columbia.

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