Does internet usage impact voter turnout?
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- Master of Science 
This master thesis explores the effect of internet usage on political participation and voters’ political preferences, as measured by voter turnout and party vote shares. We conduct a two-stage least squares analysis within a fixed effects framework. The main results suggest a positive and significant effect of internet usage on voter turnout. The subsequent findings indicate a positive and significant effect of internet usage on vote shares of small parties and local list candidates, which do not belong to either left-wing or right-wing party blocs. However, placebo tests suggest that the identification strategy may not be the best fit for the voter turnout data. The results for political participation may be biased by the correlation between the instrument variable and underlying municipalityspecific trends in the voter turnout. The bias does not appear to be present in the data for vote shares of small parties and local lists. A reasonable interpretation of these findings is that the internet roll-out programme of 2001 to 2008 was particularly beneficial in bringing attention to political parties of smaller size and individual politicians.
Masteroppgave(MSc) in Master of Science in Business, Economics - Handelshøyskolen BI, 2017