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Newspaper Circulation and Local Government Efficiency

  • Christian Bruns
  • Oliver Himmler

Whenever citizens want their elected officials to employ funds efficiently, they are in need of information in order to establish accountability. We develop an agency model with imperfect monitoring where newspapers provide voters with this information. The model predicts that an informed electorate is more likely to hold an incumbent accountable. Using panel data on Norwegian municipalities we show that increases in local newspaper circulation are associated with higher levels of local government efficiency as measured by an index introduced by the Norwegian authorities.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1467-9442.2010.01633.x
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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Scandinavian Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 113 (2011)
Issue (Month): (06)
Pages: 470-492

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Handle: RePEc:bla:scandj:v:113:y:2011:i::p:470-492
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  1. Timothy Besley & Andrea Prat, 2005. "Handcuffs for the Grabbing Hand? Media Capture and Government Accountability," STICERD - Political Economy and Public Policy Paper Series 07, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  2. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2000. "The Political Economy of Government Responsiveness: Theory and Evidence from India," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 28, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  3. Revelli, Federico & Tovmo, Per, 2007. "Revealed yardstick competition: Local government efficiency patterns in Norway," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 121-134, July.
  4. Lars-Erik Borge & Torberg Falch & Per Tovmo, 2007. "Public Sector Efficiency: The Roles of Political and Budgetary Institutions, Fiscal Capacity and Democratic Participation," Working Paper Series 8407, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
  5. George J. Borjas, 1980. "The Relationship between Wages and Weekly Hours of Work: The Role of Division Bias," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 15(3), pages 409-423.
  6. Niskanen, William A, 1975. "Bureaucrats and Politicians," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 617-43, December.
  7. David Strömberg, 2004. "Radio's Impact on Public Spending," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 189-221, February.
  8. Jorid Kalseth & Jørn Rattsø, 1998. "Political Control of Administrative Spending: The Case of Local Governments in Norway," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(1), pages 63-83, 03.
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