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The Price of Media Capture and the Looting of Newspapers in Interwar France

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  • Bignon, Vincent
  • Flandreau, Marc

Abstract

This paper develops a new insight enabling the empirical study of media capture: minority shareholders of newspapers and readers face similar risks. Both are adversely affected when corrupt insiders use the newspaper for personal profit and receive invisible revenues. This means that relevant data on influence and exploitation of newspaper has been hiding in plain sight in stock exchange or over-the-counter prices, since stock transactions reflect the value of this capture. Empirical data is consistent with increasing levels of looting in France during the 1930s. We provide a comparison with Britain and argue that Britain managed to protect its newspapers better.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 9014.

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Date of creation: Jun 2012
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9014

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Keywords: control premium; corruption; France; governance; Interwar; Media; minority shareholders;

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  1. Bovitz, Gregory L & Druckman, James N & Lupia, Arthur, 2002. " When Can a News Organization Lead Public Opinion? Ideology versus Market Forces in Decisions to Make News," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 113(1-2), pages 127-55, October.
  2. Bignon, Vincent & Miscio, Antonio, 2010. "Media bias in financial newspapers: evidence from early twentieth-century France," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 14(03), pages 383-432, December.
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