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Who Owns the Media?

  • Djankov, Simeon
  • Caralee, McLiesh
  • Nenova, Tatiana
  • Shleifer, Andrei

We examine the patterns of media ownership in 97 countries around the world. We find that almost universally the largest media firms are owned by the government or by private families. Government ownership is more pervasive in broadcasting than in the printed media. We then examine two theories of government ownership of the media: the public interest (Pigouvian) theory, according to which government ownership cures market failures, and the public choice theory, according to which government ownership undermines political and economic freedom. The data support the second theory.

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File URL: http://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/3606236/Shleifer_WhoOwns.pdf
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Paper provided by Harvard University Department of Economics in its series Scholarly Articles with number 3606236.

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Date of creation: 2003
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of Law and Economics -Chicago-
Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:3606236
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    • La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1998. "Law and Finance," Scholarly Articles 3451310, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    • Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1996. "Law and Finance," NBER Working Papers 5661, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  4. Kaufmann, Daniel & Kraay, Aart & Zoido-Lobaton, Pablo, 1999. "Governance matters," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2196, The World Bank.
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  15. Barro, Robert J & Lee, Jong Wha, 1996. "International Measures of Schooling Years and Schooling Quality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 218-23, May.
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