IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/ecm/emetrp/v78y2010i1p35-71.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

What Drives Media Slant? Evidence From U.S. Daily Newspapers

Author

Listed:
  • Matthew Gentzkow
  • Jesse M. Shapiro

Abstract

We construct a new index of media slant that measures the similarity of a news outlet's language to that of a congressional Republican or Democrat. We estimate a model of newspaper demand that incorporates slant explicitly, estimate the slant that would be chosen if newspapers independently maximized their own profits, and compare these profit-maximizing points with firms' actual choices. We find that readers have an economically significant preference for like-minded news. Firms respond strongly to consumer preferences, which account for roughly 20 percent of the variation in measured slant in our sample. By contrast, the identity of a newspaper's owner explains far less of the variation in slant. Copyright 2010 The Econometric Society.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2010. "What Drives Media Slant? Evidence From U.S. Daily Newspapers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(1), pages 35-71, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:emetrp:v:78:y:2010:i:1:p:35-71
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.3982/ECTA7195
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Myers Caitlin Knowles, 2008. "Discrimination as a Competitive Device: The Case of Local Television News," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-28, August.
    2. Edward L. Glaeser & Giacomo A. M. Ponzetto & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2005. "Strategic Extremism: Why Republicans and Democrats Divide on Religious Values," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(4), pages 1283-1330.
    3. Alan S. Gerber & Dean Karlan & Daniel Bergan, 2009. "Does the Media Matter? A Field Experiment Measuring the Effect of Newspapers on Voting Behavior and Political Opinions," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 35-52, April.
    4. Puglisi Riccardo, 2011. "Being The New York Times: the Political Behaviour of a Newspaper," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-34, April.
    5. Matthew Gentzkow, 2006. "Valuing New Goods in a Model with Complementarities: Online Newspapers," NBER Working Papers 12562, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Michael J. Mazzeo, 2002. "Product Choice and Oligopoly Market Structure," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(2), pages 221-242, Summer.
    7. Stefano DellaVigna & Ethan Kaplan, 2007. "The Fox News Effect: Media Bias and Voting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1187-1234.
    8. Matthew Gentzkow & Edward L. Glaeser & Claudia Goldin, 2006. "The Rise of the Fourth Estate. How Newspapers Became Informative and Why It Mattered," NBER Chapters,in: Corruption and Reform: Lessons from America's Economic History, pages 187-230 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Steven Berry & Joel Waldfogel, 2003. "Product Quality and Market Size," NBER Working Papers 9675, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. repec:cup:apsrev:v:97:y:2003:i:02:p:311-331_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Baron, David P., 2006. "Persistent media bias," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1-2), pages 1-36, January.
    12. Werner Antweiler & Murray Z. Frank, 2004. "Is All That Talk Just Noise? The Information Content of Internet Stock Message Boards," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(3), pages 1259-1294, June.
    13. Wing Suen, 2004. "The Self-Perpetuation of Biased Beliefs," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(495), pages 377-396, April.
    14. Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2006. "Media Bias and Reputation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(2), pages 280-316, April.
    15. James H. Stock & Motohiro Yogo, 2002. "Testing for Weak Instruments in Linear IV Regression," NBER Technical Working Papers 0284, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Matthew Gentzkow, 2006. "Television and Voter Turnout," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(3), pages 931-972.
    17. Wozniak, Abigail, 2006. "Educational Differences in the Migration Responses of Young Workers to Local Labor Market Conditions," IZA Discussion Papers 1954, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    18. Jean-Pierre Dubé & Günter Hitsch & Puneet Manchanda, 2005. "An Empirical Model of Advertising Dynamics," Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 107-144, June.
    19. Lisa George & Joel Waldfogel, 2003. "Who Affects Whom in Daily Newspaper Markets?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(4), pages 765-784, August.
    20. Sendhil Mullainathan & Andrei Shleifer, 2005. "The Market for News," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1031-1053, September.
    21. David Strömberg, 2004. "Radio's Impact on Public Spending," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 189-221.
    22. David Dranove & Anne Gron & Michael J. Mazzeo, 2003. "Differentiation and Competition in HMO Markets," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(4), pages 433-454, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • K23 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Regulated Industries and Administrative Law
    • L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecm:emetrp:v:78:y:2010:i:1:p:35-71. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/essssea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.