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Media competition and information disclosure

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This paper analyzes an election game where self-interested politicians can exploit the lack of information that voters have about candidates' preferred policies in order to pursue their own agendas. In such a setup, we study the incentives of newspapers to acquire costly information, and how competition among the media affect such incentives. We show that the higher the number of potential readers and/or the lower the cost or investigating, the more the newspapers investigate. We also show that the readers' purchasing habits play a crucial role in the model. More specifically, we show that if the readers always buy a newspaper, media competition favors information disclosure; whereas if they just buy a newspaper in the case news are uncovered, competition is not so desirable.

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Article provided by Springer & The Society for Social Choice and Welfare in its journal Social Choice and Welfare.

Volume (Year): 33 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (August)
Pages: 261-280

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Handle: RePEc:spr:sochwe:v:33:y:2009:i:2:p:261-280
DOI: 10.1007/s00355-008-0356-2
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  1. Jimmy Chan & Wing Suen, 2008. "A Spatial Theory of News Consumption and Electoral Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(3), pages 699-728.
  2. Corneo, Giacomo, 2005. "Media capture in a democracy: the role of wealth concentration," Discussion Papers 2005/1, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
  3. Valentino Larcinese, 2003. "The Instrumental Voter Goes to the News-Agent: Demand for Information, Election Closeness, and the Media," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 579.03, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  4. Sendhil Mullainathan & Andrei Shleifer, 2005. "The Market for News," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1031-1053, September.
  5. Philippe Aghion & Nicholas Bloom & Richard Blundell & Rachel Griffith & Peter Howitt, 2002. "Competition and Innovation: An Inverted U Relationship," NBER Working Papers 9269, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2000. "The political economy of government responsiveness: theory and evidence from India," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2308, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  7. Andrea Prat & David Strömberg, 2006. "Commercial Television and Voter Information," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000363, UCLA Department of Economics.
  8. Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse Shapiro, 2005. "Media Bias and Reputation," NBER Working Papers 11664, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Robert Barro, 1973. "The control of politicians: An economic model," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 19-42, March.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. David Strömberg, 2004. "Radio's Impact on Public Spending," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 189-221.
  13. Bovitz, Gregory L & Druckman, James N & Lupia, Arthur, 2002. "When Can a News Organization Lead Public Opinion? Ideology versus Market Forces in Decisions to Make News," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 113(1-2), pages 127-55, October.
  14. Baron, David P., 2006. "Persistent media bias," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1-2), pages 1-36, January.
  15. Sendhil Mullainathan & Andrei Shleifer, 2002. "Media Bias," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1981, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  16. Vaidya, Samarth, 2005. "Corruption in the media's gaze," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 667-687, September.
  17. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
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