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Media, Institutions, and Government Action: Prevention vs. Palliation in the Time of Cholera

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  • Chongwoo Choe
  • Paul A. Raschky

Abstract

This paper studies how media and the quality of institutions affect government action taken before and after a natural disaster. The key elements in this relationship are the media's role as the provider of information to voters about government action, the quality of democracy that pertains to how relevant election results are, and corruption that reduces the efficacy of government action. Provided that more media activity is focused on post-disaster government action, we show that more media activity and more democratic institutions both contribute positively to the government's palliative effort after the disaster, although corruption has a negative effect that decreases as media activity increases. On the preventive effort before the disaster, however, media and democracy both have a negative effect, as does corruption. We provide empirical evidence based on major cholera epidemics around the world, which lends some support to these hypotheses.

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File URL: http://www.buseco.monash.edu.au/eco/research/papers/2011/2311mediainstitutionschoeraschky.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Monash University, Department of Economics in its series Monash Economics Working Papers with number 23-11.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mos:moswps:2011-23

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Keywords: Media; democracy; corruption; government action; natural disaster;

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  1. Brian G. Knight & Chun-Fang Chiang, 2008. "Media Bias and Influence: Evidence from Newspaper Endorsements," NBER Working Papers 14445, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Sambit Bhattacharyya & Roland Hodler, 2008. "Natural Resources, Democracy and Corruption," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 1047, The University of Melbourne.
  3. Ruben Enikolopov & Maria Petrova & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2011. "Media and Political Persuasion: Evidence from Russia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 3253-85, December.
  4. Timothy Besley & Andrea Prat, 2006. "Handcuffs for the Grabbing Hand? Media Capture and Government Accountability," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 720-736, June.
  5. Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2006. "Media Bias and Reputation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(2), pages 280-316, April.
  6. Beck, T.H.L. & Clarke, G. & Groff, A. & Keefer , P. & Walsh, P., 2001. "New tools in comparative political economy: The database of political institutions," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3125517, Tilburg University.
  7. Stefano DellaVigna & Ethan Kaplan, 2007. "The Fox News Effect: Media Bias and Voting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1187-1234, 08.
  8. Anbarci, Nejat & Escaleras, Monica & Register, Charles A., 2005. "Earthquake fatalities: the interaction of nature and political economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(9-10), pages 1907-1933, September.
  9. Nejat Anbarci & Monica Escaleras & Charles A. Register, 2009. "The Ill Effects of Public Sector Corruption in the Water and Sanitation Sector," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 85(2), pages 363-377.
  10. Felix Oberholzer-Gee & Joel Waldfogel, 2006. "Media Markets and Localism: Does Local News en Español Boost Hispanic Voter Turnout?," NBER Working Papers 12317, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Nejat Anbarci & Monica Escaleras & Charles Register, 2005. "From Cholera Outbreaks to Pandemics: The Role of Poverty and Inequality," Working Papers 05003, Department of Economics, College of Business, Florida Atlantic University, revised Feb 2006.
  12. Matthew Gentzkow, 2006. "Television and Voter Turnout," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(3), pages 931-972, 08.
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