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Competition and Commercial Media Bias

This paper reviews the empirical evidence on commercial media bias (i.e., advertisers inuence over news reports) and then introduces a simple model to summarize the main elements of the theoretical literature. The analysis provides three main policy insights for media regulators: i) Media regulators should target their monitoring efforts towards news contents upon which advertisers are likely to share similar preferences; ii) In advertising industries characterized by highly correlated products, an increase in the degree of competition may translate into a lower accuracy of news reports; iii) A sufficiently high degree of competition in the market for news may drive out commercial media bias.

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Paper provided by Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna in its series Working Papers with number wp767.

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Date of creation: Jun 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bol:bodewp:wp767
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  1. Jonathan Reuter & Eric Zitzewitz, 2005. "Do Ads Influence Editors? Advertising and Bias in the Financial Media," Finance 0501003, EconWPA.
  2. 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.
  3. Fabrizio Germano & Martin Meier, 2010. "Concentration and self-censorship in commercial media," Discussion Papers 1518, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  4. 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.
  5. Matthew Gentzkow & Edward L. Glaeser & Claudia Goldin, 2004. "The Rise of the Fourth Estate: How Newspapers Became Informative and Why It Mattered," NBER Working Papers 10791, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. 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.
  7. Petrova, Maria, 2012. "Mass media and special interest groups," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 17-38.
  8. Djankov, Simeon & Caralee, McLiesh & Nenova, Tatiana & Shleifer, Andrei, 2003. "Who Owns the Media?," Scholarly Articles 3606236, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  9. Reuter, Jonathan, 2009. "Does Advertising Bias Product Reviews? An Analysis of Wine Ratings," Journal of Wine Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 4(02), pages 125-151, December.
  10. Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2006. "Media Bias and Reputation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(2), pages 280-316, April.
  11. Francesco Sobbrio, 2012. "A Citizen-Editors Model of News Media," RSCAS Working Papers 2012/61, European University Institute.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Bergemann, Dirk & Bonatti, Alessandro, 2010. "Targeting in Advertising Markets: Implications for Offline vs. Online Media," CEPR Discussion Papers 7988, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Gabszewicz, Jean J & Laussel, Didier & Sonnac, Nathalie, 2002. " Press Advertising and the Political Differentiation of Newspapers," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 4(3), pages 317-34.
  16. Simon P. Anderson & John McLaren, 2012. "Media Mergers And Media Bias With Rational Consumers," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 831-859, 08.
  17. 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.
  18. Guillaume Roger, 2010. "Two-Sided Competition and Differentiation (with an Application to Media)," Discussion Papers 2010-27, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
  19. 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.
  20. Gabszewicz, Jean J. & Laussel, Dider & Sonnac, Nathalie, 2001. "Press advertising and the ascent of the 'Pensee Unique'," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 641-651, May.
  21. Poitras, Marc & Sutter, Daniel, 2009. "Advertiser pressure and control of the news: The decline of muckraking revisited," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 72(3), pages 944-958, December.
  22. Maria Petrova, 2009. "Newspapers and Parties: How Advertising Revenues Created an Independent Press," Working Papers w0131, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
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