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Newspaper Circulation and Local Government Efficiency

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  • Christian Bruns
  • Oliver Himmler

Abstract

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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Suggested Citation

  • Christian Bruns & Oliver Himmler, 2011. "Newspaper Circulation and Local Government Efficiency," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 113, pages 470-492, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:scandj:v:113:y:2011:i::p:470-492
    DOI: j.1467-9442.2010.01633.x
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1467-9442.2010.01633.x
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2002. "The Political Economy of Government Responsiveness: Theory and Evidence from India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1415-1451.
    2. Lars-Erik Borge & Torberg Falch & Per Tovmo, 2008. "Public sector efficiency: the roles of political and budgetary institutions, fiscal capacity, and democratic participation," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 136(3), pages 475-495, September.
    3. Niskanen, William A, 1975. "Bureaucrats and Politicians," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 617-643, 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. 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. 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.
    7. David Strömberg, 2004. "Radio's Impact on Public Spending," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 189-221.
    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, March.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Geys, Benny & Heinemann, Friedrich & Kalb, Alexander, 2010. "Voter involvement, fiscal autonomy and public sector efficiency: Evidence from German municipalities," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 265-278, June.
    2. Oliver Falck & Robert Gold & Stephan Heblich, 2014. "E-lections: Voting Behavior and the Internet," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(7), pages 2238-2265, July.
    3. Eiji Yamamura, 2012. "Groups and information disclosure: evidence on the Olson and Putnam hypotheses in Japan," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 39(6), pages 423-439, May.
    4. Yamamura, Eiji, 2011. "Groups and information disclosure: Olson and Putnam Hypotheses," MPRA Paper 34628, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Borge, Lars-Erik & Parmer, Pernille & Torvik, Ragnar, 2015. "Local natural resource curse?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 101-114.
    6. Eiji Yamamura, 2015. "Transparency and Views Regarding Nuclear Energy Before and After the Fukushima Accident: Evidence on Micro-Data," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(5), pages 761-777, December.
    7. Bruns, Christian & Himmler, Oliver, 2016. "Mass media, instrumental information, and electoral accountability," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 75-84.
    8. Yamamura, Eiji, 2011. "Effect of transparency on changing views regarding nuclear energy before and after Fukushima accident," MPRA Paper 34346, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Johan Lundberg, 2014. "On the definition of W in empirical models of yardstick competition," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 52(2), pages 597-610, March.
    10. Kind, Hans Jarle & Møen, Jarle, 2014. "Effects of taxes and subsidies on media services," Discussion Papers 2014/44, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Business and Management Science.
    11. repec:kap:pubcho:v:172:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11127-017-0444-x is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Robert G. Picard & Steve S. Wildman (ed.), 2015. "Handbook on the Economics of the Media," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 14649.
    13. repec:eee:hepoli:v:121:y:2017:i:9:p:986-993 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Yamamura, Eiji, 2012. "Effects of groups and government size on information disclosure," MPRA Paper 36141, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Isabel Narbón-Perpiñá & Kristof De Witte, 2016. "Local governments’ efficiency: A systematic literature review – Part I," Working Papers 2016/20, Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón (Spain).
    16. Christl, Michael & Köppl-Turyna, Monika & Kucsera, Dénes, 2018. "Public sector efficiency in Europe: Long-run trends, recent developments and determinants," Working Papers 14, Agenda Austria.
    17. Rune Sørensen, 2014. "Political competition, party polarization, and government performance," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 161(3), pages 427-450, December.
    18. Bruns, Christian & Himmler, Oliver, 2014. "A Theory of Political Accountability and Journalism," MPRA Paper 59286, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. Isabel Narbón-Perpiñá & Kristof De Witte, 2016. "Local governments’ efficiency: A systematic literature review – Part II," Working Papers 2016/21, Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón (Spain).
    20. da Cruz, Nuno Ferreira & Marques, Rui Cunha, 2014. "Revisiting the determinants of local government performance," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 91-103.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H7 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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