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Articles by Boxell

Bias in news coverage during the 2016 US election

2 days ago

It is often said that a picture is worth a thousand words. The raising of the American flag over Iwo Jima. The lone man standing before the line of tanks in Tiananmen Square. The naked girl fleeing her burnt village during the Vietnam War. The celebratory kiss between a sailor and a nurse in Times Square at the end of WWII. These iconic pictures continue to shape public perceptions of major historical events. Put simply, visual information is more memorable and persuasive than textual information (Sullivan and Masters 1988, Graber 1990, Graber 1996). 
Over the past several decades, the quantity of images we are exposed to each day has increased with the rise of television, the internet, and social media. Our perception of many events is shaped by a single snapshot or a quick

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Drivers of US political polarisation

August 25, 2021

Drivers of US political polarisation: Three stylised facts and their implications
The US is becoming increasingly divided. While there are different measures and concepts of political polarisation, a similar pattern emerges across many of them – polarisation among the US electorate is the highest it has been in recent decades. 
The increase in polarisation is concerning because polarisation can increase social group homophily, alter economic behaviour, and reduce government effectiveness (Hetherington and Rudolph 2015, Iyengar et al. 2019). More recently, polarisation has influenced behavioural and public policy responses to the Covid-19 pandemic (Akovali and Yilmaz 2020, Ajzenman et al. 2020, Milosh et al. 2020).
The growing divisions in American politics have

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The internet, social media, and political polarisation

October 1, 2017

A growing body of literature suggests that political polarisation among the US electorate has risen in recent years (e.g. Abramowitz and Saunders 2008, Iyengar et al. 2012). In 1994, roughly 20% of party affiliates had ‘very unfavourable’ views of the other party. By 2016, this number had risen to over 55%, and it shows no signs of slowing (Pew Research 2016). Between 1994 and 2014, the share of Americans with strongly consistent ideological views across a range of policy questions more than doubled – from 10% to over 20% (Pew Research 2014).
Interest in political polarisation is also at an all-time high. Google Trends shows that searches related to political polarisation in the US were higher in November 2016 than any other election month since monitoring began in

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