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Mass media and public policy : global evidence from agricultural policies

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  • Olper, Alessandro
  • Swinnen, Johan

Abstract

Mass media play a crucial role in information distribution and in the political market and public policy making. Theory predicts that information provided by the mass media reflects the media's incentives to provide news to different groups in society and affects these groups'influence in policy making. The paper use data on agricultural policy from 69 countries spanning a wide range of development stages and media markets to test these predictions. The empirical results are consistent with theoretical hypotheses that public support for agriculture is affected by the mass media. In particular, an increase in media (television) diffusion is associated with policies that benefit the majority to a greater extent and is correlated with a reduction in agriculture taxation in poor countries and a reduction in the subsidization of agriculture in rich countries, ceteris paribus. The empirical results are 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 The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 6362.

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Date of creation: 01 Feb 2013
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6362

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Keywords: Economic Theory&Research; Population Policies; Public Sector Corruption&Anticorruption Measures; Language&Communication; Labor Policies;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Kym Anderson & Gordon Rausser & Johan Swinnen, 2012. "Political Economy of Public Policies: Insights from Distortions to Agricultural and Food Markets," Departmental Working Papers 2012-18, The Australian National University, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics.
  2. 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.
  3. Mihai Mutascu, 2012. "Taxation under media capture," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(4), pages 2752-2767.
  4. Vigani, Mauro & Olper, Alessandro, 2013. "GMO standards, endogenous policy and the market for information," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 32-43.
  5. Prat, Andrea & Strömberg, David, 2011. "The Political Economy of Mass Media," CEPR Discussion Papers 8246, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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