Mario Cannella (Bank of Italy)
4 December 2023 @ 12:00 - 13:00
- Past event
Electoral Effects of U.S. Soft Power: Evidence from Hollywood Movies in Cold War Italy
Abstract. This study examines the influence of cinema, a medium of soft power, on Italian elections during the Cold War. Combining fixed effects models and instrumental variables with a newly built panel dataset, we find that increased exposure to Hollywood movies led to electoral gains for the DC, the main U.S.-endorsed party, and corresponding losses for the PCI, the communist party with ties to the Soviet Union. Similarly, contemporary surveys capture more favorable opinions toward the U.S., particularly in terms of Italy’s preferred geopolitical alignment. The vote shares of other parties are not affected, while relative changes in turnout are small.