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Title: Essays on the role of the internet in development and political change
Author: Miner, Luke
ISNI:       0000 0004 2735 3746
Awarding Body: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Current Institution: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis contains three independent chapters aimed at increasing our understanding of the effects of Internet diffusion on politics and development. The first chapter proposes a novel methodology for measuring Internet penetration. Using IP geolocation data, a new measure of Internet access is created, which counts the number of IP addresses per person in a region. This is the first measure of Internet penetration that is comparable not only across countries but across sub-regions of countries such as states or even electoral districts. The second chapter applies this measure to test whether Internet diffusion can weaken incumbent power in a semi-authoritarian regime. Using Malaysia as a test case, I find that the Internet is responsible for a six point swing away from the incumbent party in the 2008 elections. In the third chapter, co-authored with Valentino Larcinese, we look at the effects of the Internet on U.S. presidential elections. In accordance with anecdotal evidence, we find that increased Internet penetration leads to an increase in small donations to the Democratic Party and a swing towards the Democratic presidential candidate.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HC Economic History and Conditions