How Does Media Affect Politics? Evidence From a Political Advertisement Reform in Mexico

Faculty Member: Horacio Larreguy

In this project we exploit a political advertisement reform in Mexico to answer two related questions. First, we mean to understand the determinants of the content of political advertisements. To that end, we exploit the availability of the universe of political advertisements that were used in radio and television in the 2012 Mexican presidential and legislative elections, as well as the market composition of the universe of media outlets in Mexico. Second, we mean to address whether the increase in the media coverage that political candidates suffered due to reform created a shift toward better looking candidates and a decrease in their quality. To this end, we will use the fact that different parties adopt very different policies regarding the weight they give to their legislative candidates relative to that of their presidential candidate, and thus that we expect the reform to have affected candidates of different parties differently.

This position is part of the Undergraduate Research Scholars Program (URS) in the Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard University. If hired, students will participate in the IQSS URS program. Scholars must be current Harvard College undergraduates.