Is the Power of Online Campaigning in Japanese Electoral Politics a Myth? A Causal Inference Analysis of the 2013 Upper House Election
Does the active use of social media for political communication during an election campaign enhance political efficacy and facilitate voter turnout? Focusing on Japan, where the ban on using the Internet for national election campaigning was lifted in 2013 for the House of Councillors elections that year, this chapter examines the causal impact of social media use for political communication on democratic virtues. Causal inference using nationally representative survey data and propensity score matching demonstrated a statistically significant positive impact of social media use on political efficacy and voting, which cannot be reliably detected with traditional ordinary least square regressions. Implications for Japanese politics are discussed.
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