Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 Oct 3;114(40):10612-10617. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1706588114. Epub 2017 Sep 19.

Greater Internet use is not associated with faster growth in political polarization among US demographic groups.

Author information

1
Department of Economics, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305; lboxell@stanford.edu.
2
Department of Economics, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305.
3
Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305.
4
National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, MA 02138.
5
Economics Department, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912.

Abstract

We combine eight previously proposed measures to construct an index of political polarization among US adults. We find that polarization has increased the most among the demographic groups least likely to use the Internet and social media. Our overall index and all but one of the individual measures show greater increases for those older than 65 than for those aged 18-39. A linear model estimated at the age-group level implies that the Internet explains a small share of the recent growth in polarization.

KEYWORDS:

Internet; polarization; politics; social media

PMID:
28928150
PMCID:
PMC5635884
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.1706588114
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Conflict of interest statement

Conflict of interest statement: M.G. is a member of the Toulouse Network of Information Technology, a research group funded by Microsoft. J.M.S. has, in the past, been a paid visitor at Microsoft Research and a paid consultant for a digital news startup; his spouse has written articles for several online news outlets, for which she was paid. L.B. declares no conflict of interest.

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center