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In addition to the main analyses, I examine whether news about the refugees' situation in neighboring countries (Norway, Denmark, and Finland) affects the reading pattern to a lesser extent since people in Sweden are not directly affected. I restrict the sample to articles that concern Sweden and its neighboring countries. The impact of the relative number of refugees on the click rate is negative and statistically significant for Swedish news (for both OLS and 2SLS estimates, columns 1 and 3 of table 4), while it is positive for articles related to the neighboring countries (for both OLS and 2SLS estimates, columns 2 and 4 of table 4). These results provide further support that when the information about the refugee situation could encourage a direct action from people, there is more avoidance of such information.

Table 4.

Sweden versus Neighboring Countries Results

OLS2SLS
Dep. var.: Clicksi,tSwedish newsNeighbors newsSwedish newsNeighbors news
Refugeesi,t −1.343*** 0.112 −1.546*** 0.321** 
 (0.496) (0.153) (0.509) (0.152) 
Municipality FE ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ 
Month FE ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ 
N 3,295 3,295 3,295 3,295 
R2 0.280 0.181 0.280 0.181 
OLS2SLS
Dep. var.: Clicksi,tSwedish newsNeighbors newsSwedish newsNeighbors news
Refugeesi,t −1.343*** 0.112 −1.546*** 0.321** 
 (0.496) (0.153) (0.509) (0.152) 
Municipality FE ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ 
Month FE ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ 
N 3,295 3,295 3,295 3,295 
R2 0.280 0.181 0.280 0.181 

The table reports fixed-effects coefficients from OLS regressions in columns 1 and 2 and IV coefficients from 2SLS regressions in columns 3 and 4 using a subsample of news about refugees in Sweden and articles about refugees in neighboring countries (Norway, Denmark, Finland). The dependent variable Clicks is the measure of average clicks in municipality i and month t divided by the total online traffic of DN in municipality i and month t. Refugees is the number of refugees registered in the Migration Agency in municipality i in month t divided by the population of municipality i. In columns 3 and 4, Refugees is the predicted number of refugees per inhabitants from a first-stage regression using Housing as instrument. Housing is the number of available beds to host asylum seekers in municipality i and month t divided by the population of municipality i. Standard errors clustered at municipality level in parentheses. Significant at ***1%, **5%, and *10%.

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