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Summits, Riots and Media Attention: The Political Economy of Information on Trade and Globalisation

Listed author(s):
  • Johan F. M. Swinnen
  • Nathalie Francken

Supply of information has increased rapidly through the growth of commercial media and technological innovations. Yet economists still blame anti-globalists' demonstrations and public opposition to trade liberalisation on poor information. This paper analyses how the structure of the media industry affects the distribution of information on trade policy and globalisation. We present an empirical analysis of Belgian media reporting on trade policy and globalisation over the 1999-2002 period, supports these hypotheses and finds strong negative bias in media coverage. Moreover, we find that media coverage of trade policy and globalisation is highly concentrated around summit meetings of political leaders. Media attention in the popular press is heavily influenced by riots and demonstrations at summits. The paper points at important implications for public information on trade policy and globalisation and for economists. Copyright 2006 The Authors Journal compilation 2006 Blackwell Publishing Ltd .

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal World Economy.

Volume (Year): 29 (2006)
Issue (Month): 5 (May)
Pages: 637-654

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Handle: RePEc:bla:worlde:v:29:y:2006:i:5:p:637-654
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