Discussion paper

DP17710 Fact-checking Politicians

We study the reaction of national politicians to a rigorous fact-checking of their public statements. Our research design relies on a novel randomized field experiment in collaboration with a leading fact-checking company. Our results show that politicians are responsive to negative fact- checking. We observe a reduction in the number of incorrect statements made by politicians after being treated in the order of one fourth of a standard deviation. This effect persists for at least two months. We also observe a reduction in the probability of politicians making verifiable statements, suggesting that fact-checking may also increase the ambiguity of politicians’ statements.


Mattozzi, A, S Nocito and F Sobbrio (eds) (2022), “DP17710 Fact-checking Politicians”, CEPR Press Discussion Paper No. 17710. https://cepr.org/publications/dp17710