IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Concentration and self-censorship in commercial media

  • Germano, Fabrizio
  • Meier, Martin

Given that over half the revenues of global newspaper publishing come from advertising (80% in the US and 57% in OECD countries, OECD, 2010), we study how media firms internalize the effect of their own coverage on advertisers' sales and hence on their own advertising revenues. We show, within a framework of non-localized, Hotelling-type competition among arbitrary numbers of media firms and outlets, that (i) topics sensitive to advertisers can be underreported by all outlets in the market, (ii) underreporting tends to increase with the concentration of ownership, and (iii) adding outlets, while keeping the number of owners fixed, can further increase the bias. We argue that self-censorship can potentially cover a wide range of topics and generate empirically large externalities.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0047272712001089
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 97 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 117-130

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:97:y:2013:i:c:p:117-130
DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2012.09.009
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Bart J. Bronnenberg & Jean-Pierre H. Dube & Matthew Gentzkow, 2010. "The Evolution of Brand Preferences: Evidence from Consumer Migration," NBER Working Papers 16267, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Peter O. Steiner, 1952. "Program Patterns and Preferences, and the Workability of Competition in Radio Broadcasting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(2), pages 194-223.
  3. Simon P. Anderson & Stephen Coate, 2005. "Market Provision of Broadcasting: A Welfare Analysis," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(4), pages 947-972.
  4. Maria Petrova, 2010. "Mass Media and Special Interest Groups," Working Papers w0144, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
  5. Jonathan Reuter & Eric Zitzewitz, 2005. "Do Ads Influence Editors? Advertising and Bias in the Financial Media," Finance 0501003, EconWPA.
  6. Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2006. "What Drives Media Slant? Evidence from U.S. Daily Newspapers," NBER Working Papers 12707, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Anderson, Simon P & McLaren, John, 2010. "Media Mergers and Media Bias with Rational Consumers," CEPR Discussion Papers 7768, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. A. Blasco & P. Pin & F. Sobbrio, 2011. "Paying Positive to Go Negative: Advertisers' Competition and Media Reports," Working Papers wp772, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  9. Besley, Timothy J. & Prat, Andrea, 2002. "Handcuffs for the Grabbing Hand? Media Capture and Government Accountability," CEPR Discussion Papers 3132, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Prat, Andrea & Strömberg, David, 2005. "Commercial Television and Voter Information," CEPR Discussion Papers 4989, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Sendhil Mullainathan & Andrei Shleifer, 2002. "Media Bias," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1981, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  12. Wolfram Schlenker & Sofia B. Villas-Boas, 2009. "Consumer and Market Responses to Mad Cow Disease," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 91(4), pages 1140-1152.
  13. Kenneth C. Wilbur, 2008. "A Two-Sided, Empirical Model of Television Advertising and Viewing Markets," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 27(3), pages 356-378, 05-06.
  14. Marco GAMBARO & Riccardo PUGLISI, 2009. "What do ads buy? Daily coverage of listed companies on the Italian press," Departmental Working Papers 2009-36, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
  15. Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse Shapiro, 2005. "Media Bias and Reputation," NBER Working Papers 11664, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Rafael Di Tella & Ignacio Franceschelli, 2011. "Government Advertising and Media Coverage of Corruption Scandals," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 119-51, October.
  17. Fabrizio Germano, 2008. "On commercial media bias," Economics Working Papers 1133, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Apr 2009.
  18. Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2008. "Preschool Television Viewing and Adolescent Test Scores: Historical Evidence from the Coleman Study," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(1), pages 279-323.
  19. Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2008. "Competition and Truth in the Market for News," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(2), pages 133-154, Spring.
  20. Mark Armstrong, 2005. "Public service broadcasting," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 26(3), pages 281-299, September.
  21. Stefano DellaVigna & Matthew Gentzkow, 2010. "Persuasion: Empirical Evidence," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 2(1), pages 643-669, 09.
  22. Chaloupka, Frank J. & Warner, Kenneth E., 2000. "The economics of smoking," Handbook of Health Economics, in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 29, pages 1539-1627 Elsevier.
  23. Matthew Ellman & Fabrizio Germano, 2009. "What do the Papers Sell? A Model of Advertising and Media Bias," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(537), pages 680-704, 04.
  24. Yongmin Chen & Michael H. Riordan, 2007. "Price and Variety in the Spokes Model," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(522), pages 897-921, 07.
  25. Sendhil Mullainathan & Andrei Shleifer, 2005. "The Market for News," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1031-1053, September.
  26. De Smet, Dries & Vanormelingen, Stijn, 2012. "The Advertiser is Mentioned Twice. Media Bias in Belgian Newspapers," Working Papers 2012/05, Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel, Faculteit Economie en Management.
  27. 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.
  28. Blasco, Andrea & Sobbrio, Francesco, 2012. "Competition and commercial media bias," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 434-447.
  29. Schlenker, Wolfram & Villas-Boas, Sofia, 2009. "AJAE appendix for ‘Consumer and Market Responses to Mad-Cow Disease’," American Journal of Agricultural Economics Appendices, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 91(4), November.
  30. Caroline Elliott, 2001. "A Cointegration Analysis of Advertising and Sales Data," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 18(4), pages 417-426, June.
  31. Steven C. Salop, 1979. "Monopolistic Competition with Outside Goods," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 141-156, Spring.
  32. Mark Armstrong & Helen Weeds, 2005. "Public Service Broadcasting in the Digital World," Industrial Organization 0507010, EconWPA.
  33. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:97:y:2013:i:c:p:117-130. 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: (Shamier, Wendy)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.