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Mass media and political accountability

  • Timothy Besley
  • Robin Burgess
  • Andrea Pratt

Mass media can play a key role in enabling citizens to monitor the actions of incumbents and to use this information in their voting decisions. This can lead to government which is more accountable and responsive to its citizens' needs. In spite of the intuitive plausibility of the proposition, there is comparatively little work in political economy literature that scrutinises the role and effectiveness of the media in fulfilling this function. A literature, however, is emerging which focuses attention on the importance of the so-called 'fourth estate of government' in the policy process. A key feature of the approach taken here is to focus on incentives the media have to produce and disseminate information.

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File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/35988/
File Function: Open access version.
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Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 35988.

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Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:35988
Contact details of provider: Postal: LSE Library Portugal Street London, WC2A 2HD, U.K.
Phone: +44 (020) 7405 7686
Web page: http://www.lse.ac.uk/
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  1. Levy, Brian & Spiller, Pablo T, 1994. "The Institutional Foundations of Regulatory Commitment: A Comparative Analysis of Telecommunications Regulation," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(2), pages 201-46, October.
  2. Macey, Jonathan R, 1992. "Organizational Design and Political Control of Administrative Agencies," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(1), pages 93-110, March.
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