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The Strategic Determinants of U.S. Human Rights Reporting: Evidence from The Cold War

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  • Nancy Qian
  • David Yanagizawa

Abstract

This paper uses a country-level panel data set to test the hypothesis that the United States biases its human rights reports of countries based on the latters' strategic value. We use the difference between the U.S. State Department's and Amnesty International's reports as a measure of U.S. "bias." For plausibly exogenous variation in strategic value to the U.S., we compare this bias between U.S. Cold War (CW) allies to non-CW allies, before and after the CW ended. The results show that allying with the U.S. during the CW significantly improved reports on a country's human rights situation from the U.S. State Department relative to Amnesty International. (JEL: P16) (c) 2009 by the European Economic Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Nancy Qian & David Yanagizawa, 2009. "The Strategic Determinants of U.S. Human Rights Reporting: Evidence from The Cold War," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 446-457, 04-05.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:jeurec:v:7:y:2009:i:2-3:p:446-457
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Thomas Eisensee & David Strömberg, 2007. "News Droughts, News Floods, and U. S. Disaster Relief," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(2), pages 693-728.
    2. Ilyana Kuziemko & Eric Werker, 2006. "How Much Is a Seat on the Security Council Worth? Foreign Aid and Bribery at the United Nations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(5), pages 905-930, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Johansson, Anders C., 2016. "Tweeting for Power: Social Media and Political Campaigning in Indonesia," Stockholm School of Economics Asia Working Paper Series 2016-43, Stockholm School of Economics, Stockholm China Economic Research Institute.
    2. repec:eee:wdevel:v:104:y:2018:i:c:p:222-237 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. David Strömberg, 2015. "Media and Politics," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 7(1), pages 173-205, August.
    4. Johansson, Anders C., 2016. "Social Media and Politics in Indonesia," Stockholm School of Economics Asia Working Paper Series 2016-42, Stockholm School of Economics, Stockholm China Economic Research Institute.
    5. Nancy Qian & David Yanagizawa-Drott, 2010. "Government Distortion in Independently Owned Media: Evidence from U.S. Cold War News Coverage of Human Rights," NBER Working Papers 15738, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Fuchs , Andreas & Gehring , Kai, 2013. "The Home Bias in Sovereign Ratings," Working Papers 0552, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
    7. Couttenier, Mathieu & Hatte, Sophie, 2016. "Mass media effects on non-governmental organizations," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 57-72.
    8. Arvind Magesan & Eik Leong Swee, "undated". "Is Happiness Really a Warm Gun? The Consequences of U.S. Weapons Sales for Political Violence," Working Papers 2015-09, Department of Economics, University of Calgary, revised 25 Jun 2015.
    9. repec:cog:poango:v:6:y:2018:i:1:p:105-116 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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