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Public Economics Workshop: Milena Djourelova

Thursday, March 2, 2023 at 11:15am to 12:45pm

Uris Hall, 494
Central Campus

 Milena Djourelova, Cornell University

The Impact of Online Competition on Local Newspapers:
Evidence from the Introduction of Craigslist

Co-authors: Ruben Durante, Gregory J. Martin


How does competition from online platforms affect the organization, performance,
and editorial choices of newspapers? And what are the implications of these changes
for the information voters are exposed to and for their political choices? We study
these questions using the staggered introduction of Craigslist – the world’s largest
online platform for classified advertising – across US counties between 1995 and 2009. This setting allows us to separate the effect of competition for classified advertising from other changes brought about by the Internet, and to compare newspapers that relied more or less heavily on classified ads ex ante. We find that, following the entry of Craigslist, local newspapers reliant on classified ads experienced significant decline in the number of newsroom and management staff. Cuts in editorial staff disproportionately affected editors covering politics. These organizational changes led to a reduction in news coverage of politics and resulted in a decline in newspaper readership. Finally, we document that reduced exposure to local political news was associated with more partisan voting and increased entry and success of ideologically extreme candidates in House elections.

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Event Type

Seminar, Class/ Workshop




economics, EconSeminar, EconPublic

Contact E-Mail

Contact Name

Robin Tilling

Contact Phone



Milena Djourelova

Speaker Affiliation

Cornell University

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Cornell Economics Community (List Serve Members)

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