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The sound of silence: Political accountability and libel law

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  • Gratton, Gabriele

Abstract

This paper explores the role played by press regulation in selecting the information mass media deliver to voters. The focus is on whether press regulation can reduce political corruption and increase voters' welfare. By endogenizing the response of the voters to information from the media, we clarify under which circumstances regulation reduces or increases corruption. We show that punitive laws can reduce political corruption only if the moral hazard problem dominates adverse selection and the punishment is large enough to deter the publication of some well-founded scandals.

Suggested Citation

  • Gratton, Gabriele, 2015. "The sound of silence: Political accountability and libel law," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 266-279.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:37:y:2015:i:c:p:266-279
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2014.09.007
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Kauder, Björn & Potrafke, Niklas, 2015. "Just hire your spouse! Evidence from a political scandal in Bavaria," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 42-54.
    2. Wolton, Stephane, 2017. "Are Biased Media Bad for Democracy?," MPRA Paper 84837, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Media and democracy; Corruption; Defamation; Chilling effect;

    JEL classification:

    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • K4 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior

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