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Beyond Borders: Is Media Freedom Contagious?

  • Russell S. Sobel
  • Nabamita Dutta
  • Sanjukta Roy

Previous literature stresses the importance of free media for economic development. By its nature TV, radio, and newspapers cross borders, allowing citizens to easily sample media from neighboring countries. This creates pressure for domestic reform and spreads media freedom between countries. Using spatial econometric techniques, and a sample of 102 countries, we test for the presence of geographic spillovers in media freedom. We find that a country's level of media freedom significantly depends on its neighbors. Countries 'catch' approximately 20 percent of their media freedom from neighboring countries. Our results are robust to alternative specifications and measures of press freedom. Copyright � 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Kyklos.

Volume (Year): 63 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (02)
Pages: 133-143

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Handle: RePEc:bla:kyklos:v:63:y:2010:i:1:p:133-143
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  1. Nabamita Dutta & Sanjukta Roy, 2009. "The Impact of Foreign Direct Investment on Press Freedom," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(2), pages 239-257, 04.
  2. Daniel Sutter, 2002. "Advertising and Political Bias in the Media: The Market for Criticism of the Market Economy," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 725-745, 07.
  3. 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, 02.
  4. World Bank, 2006. "World Development Indicators 2006," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 8151.
  5. 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, 02.
  6. Peter T. Leeson, 2008. "Media Freedom, Political Knowledge, and Participation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(2), pages 155-169, Spring.
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