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

  • Sambit Bhattacharyya
  • Roland Hodler

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.

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Paper provided by Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford in its series CSAE Working Paper Series with number 2012-02.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:2012-02
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  9. 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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  11. Bhattacharyya, Sambit & Hodler, Roland, 2010. "Natural resources, democracy and corruption," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 608-621, May.
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