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Who Owns the Media?

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  • Djankov, Simeon
  • Caralee, McLiesh
  • Nenova, Tatiana
  • Shleifer, Andrei

Abstract

We examine the patterns of media ownership in 97 countries around the world. We find that almost universally the largest media firms are owned by the government or by private families. Government ownership is more pervasive in broadcasting than in the printed media. We then examine two theories of government ownership of the media: the public interest (Pigouvian) theory, according to which government ownership cures market failures, and the public choice theory, according to which government ownership undermines political and economic freedom. The data support the second theory.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Harvard University Department of Economics in its series Scholarly Articles with number 3606236.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Publication status: Published in Journal of Law and Economics -Chicago-
Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:3606236

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  1. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 1998. "The Quality of Goverment," NBER Working Papers 6727, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  12. George J. Stigler, 1961. "The Economics of Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 69, pages 213.
  13. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-De-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 1999. "Corporate Ownership Around the World," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(2), pages 471-517, 04.
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  18. World Bank, 2000. "World Development Indicators 2000," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13828.
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