Does the Media Matter? A Field Experiment Measuring the Effect of Newspapers on Voting Behavior and Political Opinions

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Suggested citation: 

Gerber, Alan S., Dean Karlan, and Daniel Bergan (2009). Replication Materials for, ‘Does the Media Matter? A Field Experiment Measuring the Effect of Newspapers on Voting Behavior and Political Opinions.’ ISPS Data Archive.


Daniel Bergen, Alan S. Gerber, Dean Karlan

Research design: 
Data type: 
Administrative, surveys
Data source(s): 


Data source information: 


Field date: 
September 1, 2005
Field Date: 
2005-09 - 2005-11
Location details: 
Unit of observation: 
Sample size: 
3,347 (1,081 interviewed for follow-up survey)
We sampled individuals from two lists: a list of registered voters and a consumer database list. Roughly equal proportions were included in the sample from each list. We asked individuals if someone at the household received either the Post or the Times, and we excluded from the study those who said they received either newspaper. This perhaps is the most important issue to note regarding the formation of the sample frame. We are studying individuals who do not already subscribe to a newspaper. Only individuals who completed all questions in the initial phone survey were included in the experimental sample.
Randomization procedure: 
Individuals were randomly assigned to one of three groups: the Post, the Times, or a control group.
Treatment 1: 10-week free subscription for to Washington Post (and postcard announcement); Treatment 2: 10-week free subscription for to Washington Times (and postcard announcement); Control
Treatment administration: 
Newspaper delivery; Mailing
Outcome measures: 
Turnout rates in 2006 gubernatorial elections; Political knowledge; Political attitudes
Archive date: 
Gerber, Alan S., Dean Karlan, and Daniel Bergan
Owner contact: 


Terms of use: 

ISPS Data Archive: Terms of Use

Data file numbersort descending Description File format Size File url
D009F01 Readme file (updated) .txt 932 Download file
D009F01.1 ReadMe file .pdf 56320 Download file
D009F02 Dataset .dta 1417518 Download file
D009F03 Dataset .csv 1388036 Download file
D009F04 Program file .do 15534 Download file
D009F04.1 Program file .R 157850 Download file
D009F05 Code for PII removal .do 737 Download file
D009F06 Study materials (Baseline survey) .pdf 87040 Download file
D009F07 Study materials (Followup survey) .pdf 88064 Download file
D009F08 Treatment materials .pdf 35840 Download file
D009F09 Study materials (Newspaper headline data) .pdf 75776 Download file
D009F10 Study materials (variables) .pdf 145408 Download file
D009F11 Log (Stata) .log 590848 Download file
D009F11.1 Log (R) .log 459776 Download file
D009F12 Output file (table A1) .out 1229 Download file
D009F12.1 Output file (table A1) .out 658 Download file
D009F13 Output file (table A2) .out 1669 Download file
D009F13.1 Output file (table A2) .out 5396 Download file
D009F14 Output file (table 2 panel A) .out 514 Download file
D009F14.1 Output file (table 2 panel A) .out 1556 Download file
D009F15 Output file (table 2 panel B) .out 371 Download file
D009F15.1 Output file (table 2 panel B) .out 1331 Download file
D009F16 Output file (table 3) .out 570 Download file
D009F16.1 Output file (table 3) .out 1536 Download file
D009F17 Output file (table 4) .out 792 Download file
D009F17.1 Output file (table 4) .out 2621 Download file
D009F27 Metadata (DDI 3.2) .xml 917484 Download file