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The Economics of Badmouthing: Libel Law and the Underworld of the Financial Press in France Before World War I

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  • Bignon, Vincent
  • Flandreau, Marc

Abstract

This article analyzes the economics of “badmouthing” in the context of the pre-1914 French capital market. We argue that badmouthing was a means through which racketeering journals sought to secure property rights over issuers’ reputation. We provide a theoretical study of the market setup that emerged to deal with such problems, and we test our predictions using new evidence from contemporary sources.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal The Journal of Economic History.

Volume (Year): 71 (2011)
Issue (Month): 03 (September)
Pages: 616-653

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Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:71:y:2011:i:03:p:616-653_00

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References

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  1. Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse Shapiro, 2005. "Media Bias and Reputation," NBER Working Papers 11664, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 2001. "The Great Reversals: The Politics of Financial Development in the 20th Century," NBER Working Papers 8178, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Matthew Gentzkow & Edward L. Glaeser & Claudia Goldin, 2006. "The Rise of the Fourth Estate. How Newspapers Became Informative and Why It Mattered," NBER Chapters, in: Corruption and Reform: Lessons from America's Economic History, pages 187-230 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. John McMillan & Pablo Zoido, 2004. "How to Subvert Democracy: Montesinos in Peru," Discussion Papers 03-030, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  5. Nuno Garoupa, 1999. "Dishonesty and Libel Law: The Economics of the "Chilling" Effect," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 155(2), pages 284-, June.
  6. Martin C. McGuire & Mancur Olson Jr., 1996. "The Economics of Autocracy and Majority Rule: The Invisible Hand and the Use of Force," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(1), pages 72-96, March.
  7. Dyck, Alexander & Volchkova, Natalya & Zingales, Luigi, 2007. "The Corporate Governance Role of the Media: Evidence from Russia," Working Papers 07-1, University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School, Weiss Center.
  8. Albano, Gian Luigi & Lizzeri, Alessandro, 2001. "Strategic Certification and Provision of Quality," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 42(1), pages 267-83, February.
  9. Marc Flandreau & Juan H. Flores & Norbert Gaillard & Sebastián Nieto-Parra, 2009. "The End of Gatekeeping: Underwriters and the Quality of Sovereign Bond Markets, 1815-2007," NBER Working Papers 15128, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Vincent Bignon & Antonio Miscio, 2009. "Media Bias in Financial Newspapers: Evidence from Early 20th Century France," EconomiX Working Papers 2009-4, University of Paris West - Nanterre la Défense, EconomiX.
  11. Timothy Besley & Andrea Prat, 2006. "Handcuffs for the Grabbing Hand? Media Capture and Government Accountability," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 720-736, June.
  12. Michaely, Roni & Shaw, Wayne H, 1994. "The Pricing of Initial Public Offerings: Tests of Adverse-Selection and Signaling Theories," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 7(2), pages 279-319.
  13. Maria Petrova, 2009. "Newspapers and Parties: How Advertising Revenues Created an Independent Press," Working Papers w0131, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
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Cited by:
  1. Balmer, Roberto, 2013. "Entry and Competition in Local Newspaper Retail Markets - When two are enough," MPRA Paper 54079, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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