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Mass Media and Public Policy:Global Evidence from Agricultural Policies

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  • Alessandro Olper
  • Johan F.M. Swinnen

Abstract

Mass media plays a crucial role in information distribution and thus in the political market and public policy making. Theory predicts that information provided by mass media reflects the media's incentives to provide news to different types of groups in society, and affects these groups?influence in policy-making. We use data on agricultural policy from 60 countries, spanning a wide range of development stages and media markets, to test these predictions. We find that, in line with theoretical predictions, public support to agriculture is strongly affected by the structure of the mass media. In particular, a greater role of the private mass media in society is associated with policies which benefit the majority more: it reduces taxation of agriculture in poor countries and reduces subsidization of agriculture in rich countries, ceteris paribus. The evidence is also consistent with the hypothesis that increased competition in commercial media reduces transfers to special interest groups and contributes to more efficient public policies.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven in its series LICOS Discussion Papers with number 23209.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:lic:licosd:23209

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Keywords: Mass Media; Media Structure; Information; Agricultural Protection; Political Economy;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Prat, Andrea & Strömberg, David, 2011. "The Political Economy of Mass Media," CEPR Discussion Papers 8246, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Vigani, Mauro & Olper, Alessandro, 2013. "GMO standards, endogenous policy and the market for information," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 32-43.
  3. Alessandro Olper & Johan Swinnen, 2013. "Mass Media and Public Policy: Global Evidence from Agricultural Policies," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 27(3), pages 413-436.
  4. Mihai Mutascu, 2012. "Taxation under media capture," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(4), pages 2752-2767.
  5. Kym Anderson & Gordon Rausser & Johan Swinnen, 2012. "Political Economy of Public Policies: Insights from Distortions to Agricultural and Food Markets," LICOS Discussion Papers 32312, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.

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