IdEP Seminar, Matthias Roesti - Broadband Internet and Fact-Resistant Beliefs: The Case of Climate Change Skepticism

Istituto di economia politica

Data: 27 Febbraio 2024 / 12:30 - 13:30

Broadband Internet and Fact-Resistant Beliefs: The Case of Climate Change Skepticism

I explore the role of broadband internet in forming and spreading fact-resistant attitudes, specifically climate change skepticism. My approach uses fine-grained broadband quality data in the U.S. along with an identification strategy relying on terrain-induced variations in the cost of broadband deployment. Overall, the results provide only minor indications that better broadband internet access can encourage unwarranted skepticism, despite the public discourse narratives to the contrary. At the same time, some suggestive evidence indicates that middle-aged segments of the population may drive any negative overall impacts. Lastly, I point to a potential mechanism behind the effects. Shifts in political ideology appear to explain a significant part of the observed link between internet quality and climate change skepticism.

Matthias Roesti
University of St. Gallen

 

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