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Media slant against foreign owners: Downsizing

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  • Friebel, Guido
  • Heinz, Matthias
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    Abstract

    We establish the existence of strong media slant against foreign owners. Using a unique data set from nation-wide distributed quality newspapers in Germany, we find that a foreign firm that downsizes in Germany receives almost twice as much attention than a domestic firm. This quantitative slant is accompanied by qualitative slant; newspapers report in a more negative way about downsizing foreign than domestic firms. The slant is present in all quality newspapers, but it increases from right to left in the political spectrum. This is consistent with theory papers arguing that slant is an equilibrium phenomenon. The slant we document is a clean measure for economic xenophobia; however, not geared against migrants, but against foreign owners. The slant can be a substantial obstacle to FDI, as illustrated by case studies. Our results are likely to be a lower bound estimate, because Germans are rather globalization-friendly and we are looking at quality papers, not tabloids.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 9192.

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    Date of creation: Oct 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9192

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    Related research

    Keywords: economic xenophobia; foreign direct investment; globalization; media economics; multi-national enterprises;

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    Cited by:
    1. John P. Weche Geluebcke & Isabella Wedl, 2013. "Environmental Protection of Foreign Firms in Germany: Does the country of origin matter?," Working Paper Series in Economics 267, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
    2. Heinz, Matthias & Drzensky, Frank, 2013. "The Hidden Costs of Downsizing," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79764, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

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