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Press Coverage and Political Accountability

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  • James M. Snyder
  • David Strömberg

Abstract

We estimate the impact of press coverage on citizen knowledge, politicians' actions, and policy. We find that voters living in areas where, for exogenous reasons, the press covers their U.S. House representative less are less likely to recall their representative's name and less able to describe and rate him or her. Congressmen who are less covered by the local press work less for their constituencies: they are less likely to stand witness before congressional hearings, to serve on constituency-oriented committees (perhaps), and to vote against the party line. Finally, federal spending is lower in areas with exogenously lower press coverage of congressmen. (c) 2010 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.

Suggested Citation

  • James M. Snyder & David Strömberg, 2010. "Press Coverage and Political Accountability," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(2), pages 355-408, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:118:y:2010:i:2:p:355-408
    DOI: 10.1086/652903
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H5 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies
    • L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media

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