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Media, Democracy, and Government Action: Prevention vs. Palliation in the Time of Cholera

  • Chongwoo Choe
  • Paul A. Raschky

This paper studies how media and democracy influence government action taken before and after a natural disaster. The key elements in this relationship are the media's role as the provider of information to voters about government actions and the quality of democracy that pertains to how relevant election results are. We show that more media activity and more democratic institutions both contribute positively to the government's palliative effort after the disaster. However, the effects of media and democracy on the government's preventive effort before the disaster are negative. We provide empirical evidence based on major cholera epidemics around the world, which lends some support to these hypotheses.

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Paper provided by Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University in its series ISER Discussion Paper with number 0812.

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Date of creation: Jul 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:dpr:wpaper:0812
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  1. Felix Oberholzer-Gee & Joel Waldfogel, 2006. "Media Markets and Localism: Does Local News en Español Boost Hispanic Voter Turnout?," NBER Working Papers 12317, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Nejat Anbarci & Monica Escaleras & Charles A. Register, 2009. "The Ill Effects of Public Sector Corruption in the Water and Sanitation Sector," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 85(2), pages 363-377.
  3. Ruben Enikolopov & Maria Petrova & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2010. "Media and Political Persuasion: Evidence from Russia," Working Papers w0149, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
  4. DellaVigna, Stefano & Kaplan, Ethan, 2006. "The Fox News Effect: Media Bias and Voting," Seminar Papers 748, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  5. Sambit Bhattacharyya & Roland Hodler, 2008. "Natural Resources, Democracy and Corruption," OxCarre Working Papers 020, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
  6. Anbarci, Nejat & Escaleras, Monica & Register, Charles A., 2005. "Earthquake fatalities: the interaction of nature and political economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(9-10), pages 1907-1933, September.
  7. Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2006. "Media Bias and Reputation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(2), pages 280-316, April.
  8. Timothy Besley & Andrea Prat, 2006. "Handcuffs for the Grabbing Hand? Media Capture and Government Accountability," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 720-736, June.
  9. Chun-Fang Chiang & Brian Knight, 2011. "Media Bias and Influence: Evidence from Newspaper Endorsements," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 78(3), pages 795-820.
  10. Nejat Anbarci & Monica Escaleras & Charles Register, 2005. "From Cholera Outbreaks to Pandemics: The Role of Poverty and Inequality," Working Papers 05003, Department of Economics, College of Business, Florida Atlantic University, revised Feb 2006.
  11. Matthew E. Kahn, 2005. "The Death Toll from Natural Disasters: The Role of Income, Geography, and Institutions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(2), pages 271-284, May.
  12. 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.
  13. Matthew Gentzkow, 2006. "Television and Voter Turnout," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(3), pages 931-972, 08.
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