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Character Endorsements And Electoral Competition

Author

Listed:
  • Archishman Chakraborty

    (Syms School of Business, Yeshiva University)

  • Parikshit Ghosh

    (Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics)

Abstract

We present a model in which the media endorses the character of office-seeking candidates as a means to promote its own ideological agenda. In equilibrium, political parties completely pander to the elite-controlled media under moderate ideological conflict between voters and the elite. Larger ideological conflict leads to stochastic polarization-parties either adopt the role of media darlings or run highly populist campaigns. The analysis yields three critical welfare results:(a) delegation of message strategy by the media owner to a more moderate editor leads to a Pareto improvement (b) the median voter is never better o¤ delegating choice of candidates to the informed elite, i.e., democracy has instrumental value even when voters are uninformed (c) even with optimal editorial delegation, the media may be a net harm to a majority of voters, i.e., they may be better of if the informed elite did not exist.

Suggested Citation

  • Archishman Chakraborty & Parikshit Ghosh, 2013. "Character Endorsements And Electoral Competition," Working papers 234, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:cde:cdewps:234
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Brunetti, Aymo & Weder, Beatrice, 2003. "A free press is bad news for corruption," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(7-8), pages 1801-1824, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Archishman Chakraborty & Parikshit Ghosh, 2016. "Character Endorsements and Electoral Competition," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(2), pages 277-310, May.
    2. Wolton, Stephane, 2017. "Are Biased Media Bad for Democracy?," MPRA Paper 84837, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Siddhartha Bandyopadhyay & Kalyan Chatterjee & Jaideep Roy, 2015. "Manufacturing extremism: political consequences of profit-seeking media," Discussion Papers 15-14, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
    4. repec:hrv:faseco:33078973 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    character endorsements; electoral competition; media bias; polarization; cheap talk; delegation; immiserizing information.;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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