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Media Capture in a Democracy: The Role of Wealth Concentration

  • Giacomo Corneo

Since objective news coverage is vital to democracy, captured media can seriously distort collective decisions. The current paper develops a voting model where citizens are uncertain about the welfare effects induced by alternative policy options and derive information about those effects from the mass media. The media might however secretly collude with interest groups in order to influence the public opinion. In the case of voting over the level of a productivity-enhancing public bad, it is shown that an increase in the concentration of firm ownership makes the occurrence of media bias more likely. Although media bias is not always welfare worsening, conditions for it to raise welfare are restrictive.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1402.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1402
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  1. Djankov, Simeon & et al, 2003. "Who Owns the Media?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 46(2), pages 341-81, October.
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  5. Timothy Besley & Andrea Prat, 2005. "Handcuffs for the Grabbing Hand? Media Capture and Government Accountability," STICERD - Political Economy and Public Policy Paper Series 07, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
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  9. V. Crawford & J. Sobel, 2010. "Strategic Information Transmission," Levine's Working Paper Archive 544, David K. Levine.
  10. Tim Groseclose & Jeffrey Milyo, 2005. "A Measure of Media Bias," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(4), pages 1191-1237, November.
  11. Riccardo Puglisi, 2006. "Being The New York Times: Thepolitical Behaviour Of A Newspaper," STICERD - Political Economy and Public Policy Paper Series 20, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  12. John C. Harsanyi & Reinhard Selten, 1972. "A Generalized Nash Solution for Two-Person Bargaining Games with Incomplete Information," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 18(5-Part-2), pages 80-106, January.
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  14. Bergstrom, Ted C, 1979. " When Does Majority Rule Supply Public Goods Efficiently?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 81(2), pages 216-26.
  15. Baron, David P., 2004. "Persistent Media Bias," Research Papers 1845r, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
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