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The Price of Media Capture and the Looting of Newspapers in Interwar France

This paper develops a new insight enabling the empirical study of media capture: minority shareholders of newspapers and readers face similar risks. Both are adversely affected when corrupt insiders use the newspaper for personal profit and receive invisible revenues. This means that relevant data on influence and exploitation of newspaper has been hiding in plain sight in stock exchange or over-the-counter prices, since stock transactions reflect the value of this capture. Empirical data is consistent with increasing levels of looting in France during the 1930s. We provide a comparison with Britain and argue that Britain managed to protect its newspapers better.

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File URL: http://repec.graduateinstitute.ch/pdfs/Working_papers/HEIDWP09-2012.pdf
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Paper provided by Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies in its series IHEID Working Papers with number 09-2012.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: 30 May 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:gii:giihei:heidwp09-2012
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  1. Dyck, Alexander & Zingales, Luigi, 2002. "Private Benefits of Control: An International Comparison," CEPR Discussion Papers 3177, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Leslie Hannah, 2007. "The 'Divorce' of ownership from control from 1900 onwards: Re-calibrating imagined global trends," Business History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(4), pages 404-438.
  3. Timothy Besley & Andrea Prat, 2005. "Handcuffs for the Grabbing Hand? Media Capture and Government Accountability," STICERD - Political Economy and Public Policy Paper Series 07, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  4. 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.
  5. Bovitz, Gregory L & Druckman, James N & Lupia, Arthur, 2002. "When Can a News Organization Lead Public Opinion? Ideology versus Market Forces in Decisions to Make News," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 113(1-2), pages 127-55, October.
  6. Vincent Bignon & Antonio Miscio, 2009. "Media Bias in Financial Newspapers: Evidence from Early 20th Century France," EconomiX Working Papers 2009-4, University of Paris West - Nanterre la Défense, EconomiX.
  7. Matthew Gentzkow & Edward L. Glaeser & Claudia Goldin, 2006. "The Rise of the Fourth Estate. How Newspapers Became Informative and Why It Mattered," NBER Chapters, in: Corruption and Reform: Lessons from America's Economic History, pages 187-230 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Baron, David P., 2006. "Persistent media bias," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1-2), pages 1-36, January.
  9. Vincent Bignon & Marc Flandreau, 2010. "The Economics of Badmouthing: Libel Law and the Underworld of the Financial Press in France before World War I," EconomiX Working Papers 2010-18, University of Paris West - Nanterre la Défense, EconomiX.
  10. John Mcmillan & Pablo Zoido, 2004. "How to Subvert Democracy: Montesinos in Peru," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(4), pages 69-92, Fall.
  11. Zingales, Luigi, 1994. "The Value of the Voting Right: A Study of the Milan Stock Exchange Experience," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 7(1), pages 125-48.
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