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The Instrumental Voter Goes to the News-Agent: Demand for Information, Election Closeness, and the Media

  • Valentino Larcinese

    ()

This paper studies the impact of instrumental voting on information demand and mass media behaviour during electoral campaigns. If voters act instrumentally then information demand should increase with the closeness of an election. Mass media are modeled as profit-maximizing firms that take into account information demand, the value of customers to advertisers and the marginal cost of customers. Information supply should be larger in electoral constituencies where the contest is expected to be closer, there is a higher population density, and customers are on average more profitable for advertisers. The impact of electorate size is theoretically undetermined. These conclusions are then tested with comfortable results on data from the 1997 general election in Britain.

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Paper provided by Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC) in its series UFAE and IAE Working Papers with number 579.03.

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Length: 29
Date of creation: 21 Mar 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:aub:autbar:579.03
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  1. Timothy Besley & Andrea Prat, 2006. "Handcuffs for the Grabbing Hand? Media Capture and Government Accountability," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 720-736, June.
  2. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2000. "The Political Economy of Government Responsiveness: Theory and Evidence from India," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 28, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
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