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Using Electromagnetic Signal Propagation Models for Radio and Television Broadcasts: An Introduction

  • Charles Crabtree (a1) and Holger L. Kern (a2)
Abstract

This note offers an introduction to electromagnetic signal propagation models, which can be used to model terrestrial radio and television signal strength across space. Such data are useful to social scientists interested in identifying the effects of mass media broadcasts when (i) individual-level data on media exposure do not exist or when (ii) media exposure, while observed, is not exogenous. We illustrate the use of electromagnetic signal propagation models by creating a signal strength measure of military-controlled radio stations during the 2012 coup in Mali.

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Footnotes
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Authors’ note: We would like to thank Nicholas DeMinco formerly of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration for his helpful introduction to signal propagation models and the editor, the anonymous reviewer, Inken von Borzyskowski, Rob Carroll, Chris Fariss, Florian Hollenbach, and Arturas Rozenas for extremely helpful comments that significantly improved the paper. Ben Olken and Ruben Enikolopov generously shared advice and software. All remaining errors are our own. See Kern and Crabtree (2018) for replication materials.

Contributing Editor: Justin Grimmer

Footnotes
References
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Political Analysis
  • ISSN: 1047-1987
  • EISSN: 1476-4989
  • URL: /core/journals/political-analysis
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