Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Radio's impact on public spending (USA, 1930's)

FDR (1882-1945) after giving one of his famous fireside chats

David Stromberg is a professor at Stockholm University and he wrote a paper called

Radio's impact on public spending
(quarterly journal of economics 119-1, 2004 but the paper appears in early version on 1999)


If informed voters receive favorable policies, then the invention of a new mass medium may affect government policies since it affects who is informed and who is not. These ideas are developed in a voting model. The model forms the basis for an empirical investigation of a major New Deal relief program implemented in the middle of the expansion period of radio. The main empirical finding is that U.S. counties with many radio listeners received more relief funds. More funds were allocated to poor counties with high unemployment but, controlling for these and other variables, the effects of radio are large and highly significant.

1 introduction
2 the FERA program and the expansion of radio
3 model
4 specification and data
5 results
6 conclusion and discussion

"governors allocated more relief funds to areas where a larger share of the population had radios" (page 23)

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