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Electoral cycle bias in the media coverage of corruption news

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  • Le Moglie, Marco
  • Turati, Gilberto

Abstract

We investigate the existence of an ‘electoral cycle bias’ in the timing of media coverage of news with high political salience. In particular, we analyze how the electoral cycles at the regional level influence the coverage of news about corruption scandals in the Italian Regional Health Systems by two important national newspapers having opposite ideology, La Repubblica (left-wing oriented) and Il Giornale (right-wing oriented). Our findings show that Il Giornalesignificantly increases the number of articles about corruption scandals involving left-wing politicians since eight weeks before the elections, while it reduces the number of those about episodes of corruption without any political connection. On the contrary, La Repubblica increases the number of articles about episodes involving right-wing politicians only between four to eight weeks before the elections and it decreases those about no political episodes just the week right before them.

Suggested Citation

  • Le Moglie, Marco & Turati, Gilberto, 2019. "Electoral cycle bias in the media coverage of corruption news," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 163(C), pages 140-157.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:163:y:2019:i:c:p:140-157
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2019.05.005
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Media bias; Electoral cycle; Ideology; Corruption scandals; Health system; Italian regions;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health
    • H75 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Government: Health, Education, and Welfare
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media

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