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Replication Archive for: The Welfare Effects of Social Media

Resource Type
  • Allcott, Hunt (New York University)
  • Braghieri, Luca (Stanford University)
  • Eichmeyer, Sarah (Stanford University)
  • Gentzkow, Matthew (Stanford University)
Publication Date
Free Keywords
Social media; Political polarization; Subjective well-being; Consumer surplus from digital technologies
  • Abstract

    The rise of social media has provoked both optimism about potential societal benefits and concern about harms such as addiction, depression, and political polarization. In a randomized experiment, we find that deactivating Facebook for the four weeks before the 2018 US midterm election (i) reduced online activity, while increasing offline activities such as watching TV alone and socializing with family and friends; (ii) reduced both factual news knowledge and political polarization; (iii) increased subjective well-being; and (iv) caused a large persistent reduction in post-experiment Facebook use. Deactivation reduced post-experiment valuations of Facebook, suggesting that traditional metrics may overstate consumer surplus.
  • Hunt, Allcott, Braghieri Luca, Eichmeyer Sarah, and Gentzkow Matthew. “The Welfare Effects of Social Media.” American Economic Review, n.d.

Update Metadata: 2020-02-29 | Issue Number: 1 | Registration Date: 2020-02-29

Allcott, Hunt; Braghieri, Luca; Eichmeyer, Sarah; Gentzkow, Matthew (2020): Replication Archive for: The Welfare Effects of Social Media. Version: 1. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.