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Media Freedom, Bureaucratic Incentives, and the Resource Curse

Author

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  • Georgy Egorov

    (Harvard University)

  • Sergei Guriev

    (New Economic School/CEFIR and CEPR)

  • Konstantin Sonin

    (New Economic School/CEFIR and CEPR)

Abstract

How can a non-democratic ruler provide proper incentives for state bureaucracy? In the absense of competitive elections and separation of powers, the ruler has to gather information either from a centralized agency such as a secret service or a decentralized source such as media. The danger of using a secret service is that it can collude with bureaucrats; overcoming collusion is costly. Free media aggregate information and thus constrain bureaucrats, but might also help citizens to coordinate on actions against the incumbent. We endogenize the ruler’s choice in a dynamic model to argue that free media are less likely to emerge in resource-rich economies where the ruler is less interested in providing incentives to his subordinates. We show that this prediction is consistent with both cross-section and panel data.

Suggested Citation

  • Georgy Egorov & Sergei Guriev & Konstantin Sonin, 2006. "Media Freedom, Bureaucratic Incentives, and the Resource Curse," Working Papers w0063, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR), revised Jun 2006.
  • Handle: RePEc:cfr:cefirw:w0063
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    2. Ruben Enikolopov & Maria Petrova & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2011. "Media and Political Persuasion: Evidence from Russia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 3253-3285, December.
    3. Hassan Gholipour Fereidouni & Tajul Ariffin Masron & Reza Ekhtiari Amiri, 2011. "The effects of FDI on voice and accountability in the MENA region," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 38(9), pages 802-815, August.
    4. Shan Gao & Shuang Ling & Wenhui Liu, 2018. "The Role of Social Media in Promoting Information Disclosure on Environmental Incidents: An Evolutionary Game Theory Perspective," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 10(12), pages 1-19, November.
    5. Dutta, Nabamita & Roy, Sanjukta, 2008. "The Role of Foreign Direct Investment on Press Freedom," MPRA Paper 10185, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 18 Jul 2008.
    6. Petrova, Maria, 2012. "Mass media and special interest groups," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 17-38.
    7. Gehlbach, Scott & Sonin, Konstantin, 2014. "Government control of the media," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 163-171.
    8. Mishura, A., 2010. "Resource Dependence and Quality of Institutes in Russian Regions," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, issue 6, pages 82-96.
    9. Esther Hauk & Antonio Cabrales, 2007. "Democracy and the curse of natural resources," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 709.07, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC), revised 30 Mar 2009.
    10. Sergey Sinelnikov-Murylev & Eugene Goryunov & Laurence Kotlikoff, 2015. "Theoretical foundations of fiscal gap as a long-term fiscal sustainability indicator and its estimates for Russia," Research Paper Series, Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy, issue 168P, pages 1-58.
    11. Timothy Besley & Masayuki Kudamatsu, 2007. "Making Autocracy Work," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 48, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
    12. Durnev, Art & Fauver, Larry, 2008. "Stealing from Thieves: Firm Governance and Performance when States are Predatory," CEI Working Paper Series 2008-12, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    13. Art Durnev & Sergei Guriev, 2007. "The Resource Curse: A Corporate Transparency Channel," Working Papers w0108, New Economic School (NES).
    14. Ashworth, Scott & Shotts, Kenneth W., 2010. "Does informative media commentary reduce politicians' incentives to pander?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(11-12), pages 838-847, December.
    15. William Tompson, 2007. "From "Clientelism" to a "Client-Centred Orientation"? The Challenge of Public Administration Reform in Russia," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 536, OECD Publishing.
    16. Tambovtsev, V., 2012. "Protection of Property Rights and Investment Climate in Russia," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, vol. 13(1), pages 163-165.
    17. Randolph Luca Bruno, 2006. "Unique Equilibrium in a Model of Rule of Law," LEM Papers Series 2006/16, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    18. Evgeny Yakovlev & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2007. "Deregulation of Business," Working Papers w0097, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
    19. Nabamita Dutta & Sanjukta Roy, 2009. "The Impact of Foreign Direct Investment on Press Freedom," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(2), pages 239-257, April.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    media freedom; non-democratic politics; bureaucracy; resource curse;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • Q4 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy

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