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Mass Media and Public Policy: Global Evidence from Agricultural Policies

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  • Alessandro Olper
  • Johan Swinnen

Abstract

Mass media play a crucial role in information distribution and in the political market and public policy making. Theory predicts that information provided by the mass media reflects the media's incentives to provide news to different groups in society and affects these groups' influence in policy making. We use data on agricultural policy from 69 countries spanning a wide range of development stages and media markets to test these predictions. Our empirical results are consistent with theoretical hypotheses that public support for agriculture is affected by the mass media. In particular, an increase in media (television) diffusion is associated with policies that benefit the majority to a greater extent and is correlated with a reduction in agriculture taxation in poor countries and a reduction in the subsidization of agriculture in rich countries, ceteris paribus. The empirical results are consistent with the hypothesis that increased competition in commercial media reduces transfers to special interest groups and contributes to more efficient public policies. Copyright 2013, Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by World Bank Group in its journal The World Bank Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 27 (2013)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 413-436

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Handle: RePEc:oup:wbecrv:v:27:y:2013:i:3:p:413-436

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Cited by:
  1. Vigani, Mauro & Olper, Alessandro, 2012. "GMO Standards, Endogenous Policy and the Market for Information," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 126443, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  2. Anderson, Kym & Rausser, Gordon & Swinnen, Johan, 2012. "Political Economy of Public Policies: Insights from Distortions to Agricultural and Food Markets," CEPR Discussion Papers 9221, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Olper, Alessandro & Swinnen, Johan, 2013. "Mass media and public policy : global evidence from agricultural policies," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6362, The World Bank.
  4. Mihai Mutascu, 2012. "Taxation under media capture," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(4), pages 2752-2767.
  5. Prat, Andrea & Strömberg, David, 2011. "The Political Economy of Mass Media," CEPR Discussion Papers 8246, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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