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Number and Circulation of US Daily Newspapers by City and Political Affiliation, 1869-2004 (ICPSR 30261) RSS

Principal Investigator(s):

Summary:

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 contains city-level counts and circulation of United States daily newspapers by political affiliation from 1869 to 2004. The data come from George P. Rowell and Company's (Rowell's) American Newspaper Directory (1860-1876), N.W. Ayer and Son's (Ayer's) American Newspaper Annual (1880-1928), and the Editor and Publisher Yearbook (1932-2004).

Access Notes

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Dataset(s)

Study Description

Citation

Gentzkow, Matthew, Jesse M. Shapiro, and Michael Sinkinson. Number and Circulation of US Daily Newspapers by City and Political Affiliation, 1869-2004. ICPSR30261-v5. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2012-04-30. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR30261.v5

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Funding

This study was funded by:

  • National Science Foundation (SES-0617658, SES-0922342)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   attitudes, congressional elections, elections, historical data, news media, newspapers, political participation, vote count, voter turnout, voting behavior, voting patterns

Smallest Geographic Unit:   city

Geographic Coverage:   United States

Time Period:  

  • 1869--2004

Date of Collection:  

  • 2007-01--2010-11

Unit of Observation:   city, county

Universe:   English-language daily newspapers with United States circulation from 1869 to 2004.

Data Types:   administrative records data, aggregate data, event/transaction data, machine-readable text, program source code

Data Collection Notes:

As requested by the principal investigator, the study title changed from "Counts of US Daily Newspapers by City and Political Affiliation, 1869-2004" to "Number and Circulation of US Daily Newspapers by City and Political Affiliation, 1869-2004".

The data have been further processed by the principal investigator. Please see the "Processing Notes" section of the ICPSR Codebook for additional information.

Methodology

Sample:  

  • George P. Rowell and Company's (Rowell's) American Newspaper Directory (1860-1876)
  • N.W. Ayer and Son's (Ayer's) American Newspaper Annual (1880-1928)
  • Editor and Publisher Yearbook (1932?2004)

Mode of Data Collection:   record abstracts

Data Source:

George P. Rowell and Company's (Rowell's) American Newspaper Directory (1860-1876)

N.W. Ayer and Son's (Ayer's) American Newspaper Annual (1880-1928)

Editor and Publisher Yearbook (1932-2004)

Extent of Processing:  ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Created variable labels and/or value labels.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

Version(s)

Original ICPSR Release:  

Version History:

  • 2012-04-30 This collection has been updated by the principal investigator: the study title was changed from "Counts of US Daily Newspapers by City and Political Affiliation, 1869-2004" to "Number and Circulation of US Daily Newspapers by City and Political Affiliation, 1869-2004" and a number of variables have been added to the data set.
  • 2011-07-28 Changed variable labels in data, per PI request.
  • 2011-07-01 Changed variable labels in data, per PI request.
  • 2011-06-14 Changed title, per PI request.

Related Publications (see Notes)

Variables

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