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Media Freedom and Democracy: Complements or Substitutes in the Fight against Corruption?

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  • Sambit Bhattacharyya
  • Roland Hodler

Abstract

Democracy and media freedom have been suggested as useful tools in the ?ght against political corruption, but so far their interplay in this ?ght has received scant attention. We present a game theoretic model which predicts that the corruption-reducing e?ect of democracy becomes stronger as media freedom increases. Using panel data covering the period 1980-2008 and 126 countries, we ?nd empirical support for this prediction. Our main results hold when we control for the e?ects of income, time varying common shocks, regional ?xed e?ects and various additional covariates. The complementarity between democracy and media freedom in the ?ght against corruption is also supported by Indian state level data.

Suggested Citation

  • Sambit Bhattacharyya & Roland Hodler, 2012. "Media Freedom and Democracy: Complements or Substitutes in the Fight against Corruption?," CSAE Working Paper Series 2012-02, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  • Handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:2012-02
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    File URL: http://www.csae.ox.ac.uk/materials/papers/csae-wps-2012-02.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alesina, Alberto & Devleeschauwer, Arnaud & Easterly, William & Kurlat, Sergio & Wacziarg, Romain, 2003. "Fractionalization," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 155-194, June.
    2. Bhattacharyya, Sambit & Hodler, Roland, 2010. "Natural resources, democracy and corruption," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 608-621, May.
    3. Romain Wacziarg & Karen Horn Welch, 2008. "Trade Liberalization and Growth: New Evidence," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 22(2), pages 187-231, June.
    4. Aidt, Toke & Dutta, Jayasri & Sena, Vania, 2008. "Governance regimes, corruption and growth: Theory and evidence," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 195-220, June.
    5. Claudio Ferraz & Frederico Finan, 2008. "Exposing Corrupt Politicians: The Effects of Brazil's Publicly Released Audits on Electoral Outcomes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(2), pages 703-745.
    6. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
    7. Hausman, Jerry & Stock, James H. & Yogo, Motohiro, 2005. "Asymptotic properties of the Hahn-Hausman test for weak-instruments," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 89(3), pages 333-342, December.
    8. repec:hrv:faseco:30747160 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Chowdhury, Shyamal K., 2004. "The effect of democracy and press freedom on corruption: an empirical test," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 93-101, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:bla:jecsur:v:32:y:2018:i:2:p:335-356 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Eugen Dimant & Guglielmo Tosato, 2018. "Causes And Effects Of Corruption: What Has Past Decade'S Empirical Research Taught Us? A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(2), pages 335-356, April.
    3. Derbali, Ahmed & Trabelsi Masmoudi, Lilia & Zitouna, Habib, 2015. "Democratic transition and foreign direct investment: Transition process matters," MPRA Paper 66057, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Corruption; political institutions; democracy; media freedom;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government

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