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The Impact of Newspapers on Consumer Confidence: Does Spin Bias Exist?

Author

Listed:
  • Karel-Jan Alsem
  • Steven Brakman
  • Lex Hoogduin
  • Gerard Kuper

Abstract

Mullainathan and Shleifer (2002) argue that there are two types of media bias. One bias, called ideology, reflects a news outlet's desire to affect reader opinions in a particular direction. The second bias, referred to as spin, reflects the outlet's attempt to simply create a memorable story. Competition between outlets can eliminate the effect of ideologicalbias, but increases the incentive to spin stories. We examine whether spin exists in Dutch newspaper reporting on the state of the economy. If so, we assume that in their reports on the state of the economy newspapers exaggerate. Consumers reading such reports may be influenced by these reports. As a result, consumer confidence may be affected not only by economic fundamentals, but also by the way they are reported. We construct a variable that reflects the way consumers perceive economic news reported in newspapers. We find that this variable indeed has a significant, but small, impact on consumer confidence, which is short- lived.

Suggested Citation

  • Karel-Jan Alsem & Steven Brakman & Lex Hoogduin & Gerard Kuper, 2004. "The Impact of Newspapers on Consumer Confidence: Does Spin Bias Exist?," DNB Working Papers 011, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:dnb:dnbwpp:011
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Sydney C. Ludvigson, 2004. "Consumer Confidence and Consumer Spending," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(2), pages 29-50, Spring.
    2. Jansen, W. Jos & Nahuis, Niek J., 2003. "The stock market and consumer confidence: European evidence," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 89-98, April.
    3. Sendhil Mullainathan & Andrei Shleifer, 2002. "Media Bias," NBER Working Papers 9295, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Sendhil Mullainathan & Andrei Shleifer, 2005. "The Market for News," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1031-1053, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Khim-Yong Goh & Kai-Lung Hui & Ivan P. L. Png, 2011. "Newspaper Reports and Consumer Choice: Evidence from the Do Not Call Registry," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 57(9), pages 1640-1654, February.
    2. Kosse, Anneke, 2013. "Do newspaper articles on card fraud affect debit card usage?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 5382-5391.
    3. Marcel Garz, 2012. "Job Insecurity Perceptions and Media Coverage of Labor Market Policy," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 33(4), pages 528-544, December.
    4. Ralf Dewenter & Ulrich Heimeshoff & Tobias Thomas, 2016. "Media Coverage and Car Manufacturers' Sales," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 36(2), pages 976-982.
    5. Ramalho, Esmeralda A. & Caleiro, António & Dionfsio, Andreia, 2011. "Explaining consumer confidence in Portugal," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 25-32, February.
    6. Hollanders, D.A. & Vliegenthart, R., 2009. "The Influence of Negative Newspaper Coverage on Consumer Confidence : The Dutch Case," Discussion Paper 2009-55, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    7. Diermeier, Matthias & Goecke, Henry & Niehues, Judith & Thomas, Tobias, 2017. "Impact of inequality-related media coverage on the concerns of the citzens," DICE Discussion Papers 258, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    8. Hollanders, David & Vliegenthart, Rens, 2011. "The influence of negative newspaper coverage on consumer confidence: The Dutch case," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 367-373, June.
    9. Hatzinikolaou, Dimitris, 2010. "How to Turn a Recession into a Depression: The Role of the Media, of the Politicians, and of the Political Analysts," MPRA Paper 45391, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 15 Sep 2010.
    10. repec:hrv:faseco:33078973 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E20 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E30 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)

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