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Mass media and public education: The effects of access to community radio in Benin

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  • Keefer, Philip
  • Khemani, Stuti

Abstract

Prior research on mass media and government accountability has not examined the effects of citizen media access on broad public services, such as education. At the same time, research has abstracted from the potentially influential role of mass media on parental investments in children's education. We address both issues using a “natural experiment” in radio access in Benin and find that school children's literacy rates are higher in villages exposed to a larger number of community radio stations. There is no evidence that this effect operates through greater government responsiveness. Instead, households with greater media access make larger private investments in their children's education.

Suggested Citation

  • Keefer, Philip & Khemani, Stuti, 2014. "Mass media and public education: The effects of access to community radio in Benin," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 57-72.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:109:y:2014:i:c:p:57-72
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2014.03.010
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

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    2. Keefer, Philip & Khemani, Stuti, 2014. "Radio's impact on preferences for patronage benefits," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6932, The World Bank.
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    5. Lisa Oberlander, 2021. "TV exposure and food consumption patterns–evidence from Indonesia," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(11), pages 2701-2721, November.
    6. Couttenier, Mathieu & Hatte, Sophie, 2016. "Mass media effects on non-governmental organizations," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 57-72.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Mass media; Accountability; Transparency; Education;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General

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