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Read All About It! Understanding the Role of Media in Economic Development


  • Christopher J. Coyne
  • Peter T. Leeson


This paper explores the role of media in economic development. In particular, we seek to outline the conditions under which the media contributes to the successful adoption of policies aimed at economic progress. Our core thesis is that successful economic development requires the coordination of efforts by politicians with the interests of the populace on policies that bring about economic growth. However, the nature of the relationship between political actors in charge of reform is characterized by a conflict of interests. The role of media as a key mechanism for transforming these situations of conflict into situations of coordination between politicians and the populace is analyzed. Specifically, we consider four factors - media autonomy, legal structure, quality of the media and consumer demand - and how they impact media as a coordination-enhancing mechanism. Copyright WWZ and Helbing & Lichtenhahn Verlag AG 2004.

Suggested Citation

  • Christopher J. Coyne & Peter T. Leeson, 2004. "Read All About It! Understanding the Role of Media in Economic Development," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(1), pages 21-44, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:kyklos:v:57:y:2004:i:1:p:21-44

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Meng, Qingxuan & Li, Mingzhi, 2002. "New Economy and ICT development in China," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 275-295, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jac C. Heckelman, 2010. "The Connection between Democratic Freedoms and Growth in Transition Economies," Applied Economics Quarterly (formerly: Konjunkturpolitik), Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 56(2), pages 121-146.
    2. Russell S. Sobel & Nabamita Dutta & Sanjukta Roy, 2010. "Beyond Borders: Is Media Freedom Contagious?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(1), pages 133-143, February.
    3. Dutta, Nabamita & Roy, Sanjukta, 2008. "The Role of Foreign Direct Investment on Press Freedom," MPRA Paper 10185, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 18 Jul 2008.
    4. Peter Leeson & Christopher Coyne, 2007. "The reformers’ dilemma: media, policy ownership, and reform," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 23(3), pages 237-250, June.
    5. Peter T. Leeson & Russell S. Sobel, 2006. "Contagious Capitalism," Working Papers 06-04 Classification-, Department of Economics, West Virginia University.
    6. Jimmy Chan & Daniel Stone, 2013. "Media proliferation and partisan selective exposure," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 156(3), pages 467-490, September.
    7. Nabamita Dutta & Sanjukta Roy, 2009. "The Impact of Foreign Direct Investment on Press Freedom," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(2), pages 239-257, April.
    8. Christopher L. Ambrey & Christopher M. Fleming & Matthew Manning & Christine Smith, 2016. "On the Confluence of Freedom of the Press, Control of Corruption and Societal Welfare," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 128(2), pages 859-880, September.
    9. Jac C. Heckelman, 2010. "Aid and Democratization in the Transition Economies," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(4), pages 558-579, November.
    10. repec:kap:pubcho:v:172:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11127-017-0444-x is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Nabamita Dutta & Sanjukta Roy, 2013. "The changing face of culture: gauging the impact of a free media," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 36(1), pages 95-115, August.
    12. Eiji Yamamura, 2012. "Effect of Free Media on Views Regarding Nuclear Energy after the Fukushima Accident," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(1), pages 132-141, February.
    13. Peter T. Leeson, 2008. "Media Freedom, Political Knowledge, and Participation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(2), pages 155-169, Spring.
    14. Daniel Sutter, 2013. "Broadcast meteorology and the supply of weather forecasts: an exploration," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 37(3), pages 463-477, July.
    15. Christopher J. Coyne & Peter T. Leeson, 2009. "Media as a Mechanism of Institutional Change and Reinforcement," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(1), pages 1-14, February.
    16. Paul Aligica & Anthony Evans, 2009. "Thought experiments, counterfactuals and comparative analysis," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 22(3), pages 225-239, September.

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