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Media versus Special Interests

Author

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  • Dyck, Alexander
  • Moss, David
  • Zingales, Luigi

Abstract

We argue that profit-maximizing media help overcome the problem of "rational ignorance" highlighted by Downs (1957) and in so doing make elected representatives more sensitive to the interests of general voters. By collecting news and combining it with entertainment, media are able to inform passive voters on politically relevant issues. To show the impact this information has on legislative outcomes, we document the effect "muckraking" magazines had on the voting patterns of U.S. representatives and senators in the early part of the 20th century. We also show under what conditions profit-maximizing media will cater to general (less affluent) voters in their coverage, providing a counterbalance to special interests.

Suggested Citation

  • Dyck, Alexander & Moss, David & Zingales, Luigi, 2008. "Media versus Special Interests," CEPR Discussion Papers 6994, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6994
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    Cited by:

    1. Austin Murphy, 2020. "An Analysis of the Use of Money to Divert the Exercise of Government Power for the Wealthiest," Economic Alternatives, University of National and World Economy, Sofia, Bulgaria, issue 1, pages 50-78, March.
    2. Byun, Seong K. & Oh, Jong-Min, 2018. "Local corporate social responsibility, media coverage, and shareholder value," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 68-86.
    3. Karen Moris, 2010. "La presse en tant que mécanisme de gouvernance disciplinaire - Press as a disciplinary governance mechanism," Working Papers CREGO 1101003, Université de Bourgogne - CREGO EA7317 Centre de recherches en gestion des organisations.
    4. Florian Buck, 2014. "Financial Regulation and the Grabbing Hand," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 11(04), pages 03-13, January.
    5. Amal Aouadi & Sylvain Marsat, 2018. "Do ESG Controversies Matter for Firm Value? Evidence from International Data," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 151(4), pages 1027-1047, September.
    6. Borochin, Paul & Cu, Wei Hua, 2018. "Alternative corporate governance: Domestic media coverage of mergers and acquisitions in China," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 1-25.
    7. Eiji Yamamura & Fabio Sabatini, 2014. "Superstars in politics: the role of the media in the rise and success of Junichiro Koizumi," Papers 1407.1726, arXiv.org.
    8. Garcia Pires, Armando J., 2014. "Media diversity, advertising, and adaptation of news to readers’ political preferences," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 28-38.
    9. Bajo, Emanuele & Raimondo, Carlo, 2017. "Media sentiment and IPO underpricing," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 139-153.
    10. Alexander Dyck & Natalya Volchkova & Luigi Zingales, 2008. "The Corporate Governance Role of the Media: Evidence from Russia," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(3), pages 1093-1135, June.
    11. Shapiro, Jesse M., 2016. "Special interests and the media: Theory and an application to climate change," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 144(C), pages 91-108.
    12. Simeon Djankov & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2010. "Disclosure by Politicians," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 179-209, April.
    13. repec:ces:ifodic:v:11:y:2014:i:4:p:19105947 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Petrova, Maria, 2011. "Newspapers and Parties: How Advertising Revenues Created an Independent Press," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 105(4), pages 790-808, November.
    15. Armando J. Garcia Pires, 2017. "Media pluralism and competition," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 255-283, April.
    16. Florian Buck, 2014. "Financial Regulation and the Grabbing Hand," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 11(4), pages 03-13, 01.
    17. Wu, Yanling & Tian, Gary Gang, 2021. "Public relations expenditure, media tone, and regulatory decisions," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 66(C).
    18. Strömberg, David, 2015. "Media Coverage and Political Accountability: Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 10638, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    19. repec:hrv:faseco:33077931 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Dora L. Costa & Matthew E. Kahn, 2017. "Death and the Media: Infectious Disease Reporting During the Health Transition," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 84(335), pages 393-416, July.
    21. Yamamura, Eiji & Sabatini, Fabio, 2015. "The impact of the media on voters’ attitude toward Junichiro Koizumi and his policy," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 34, pages 24-32.
    22. 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.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    media; muckraking; regulation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • N41 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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