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Mass Media and Public Policy:Global Evidence from Agricultural Policies

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  • Alessandro Olper
  • Johan F.M. Swinnen

Abstract

Mass media plays a crucial role in information distribution and thus in the political market and public policy making. Theory predicts that information provided by mass media reflects the media's incentives to provide news to different types of groups in society, and affects these groups?influence in policy-making. We use data on agricultural policy from 60 countries, spanning a wide range of development stages and media markets, to test these predictions. We find that, in line with theoretical predictions, public support to agriculture is strongly affected by the structure of the mass media. In particular, a greater role of the private mass media in society is associated with policies which benefit the majority more: it reduces taxation of agriculture in poor countries and reduces subsidization of agriculture in rich countries, ceteris paribus. The evidence is also consistent with the hypothesis that increased competition in commercial media reduces transfers to special interest groups and contributes to more efficient public policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Alessandro Olper & Johan F.M. Swinnen, 2009. "Mass Media and Public Policy:Global Evidence from Agricultural Policies," LICOS Discussion Papers 23209, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
  • Handle: RePEc:lic:licosd:23209
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    Cited by:

    1. Kym Anderson & Gordon Rausser & Johan Swinnen, 2013. "Political Economy of Public Policies: Insights from Distortions to Agricultural and Food Markets," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(2), pages 423-477, June.
    2. Elena Briones Alonso & Johan Swinnen, 2015. "A Value Chain Approach to Measuring Distortions to Incentives and Food Policy Effects (with application to Pakistan’s grain policy)," Working Papers id:6895, eSocialSciences.
    3. Alessandro Olper & Johan Swinnen, 2013. "Mass Media and Public Policy: Global Evidence from Agricultural Policies," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 27(3), pages 413-436.
    4. Briones Alonso, Elena & Swinnen, Johan, 2016. "Who are the producers and consumers? Value chains and food policy effects in the wheat sector in Pakistan," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 40-58.
    5. Mihai Mutascu, 2012. "Taxation under media capture," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(4), pages 2752-2767.
    6. Prat, Andrea & Strömberg, David, 2011. "The Political Economy of Mass Media," CEPR Discussion Papers 8246, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Kym Anderson, 2016. "Agricultural Trade, Policy Reforms, and Global Food Security," Palgrave Studies in Agricultural Economics and Food Policy, Palgrave Macmillan, number 978-1-137-46925-0, December.
    8. Elena Briones Alonso & Jo Swinnen, 2015. "A value chain approach to measuring distortions to incentives and food policy effects (with application to Pakistan’s grain policy)," Working Papers of LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance 493428, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB), LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance.
    9. Ramalho,Rita & Saltane,Valentina, 2019. "Does Media Stimulate Reform Efforts ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 8984, The World Bank.
    10. Vigani, Mauro & Olper, Alessandro, 2013. "GMO standards, endogenous policy and the market for information," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 32-43.
    11. Wanki Moon & Gabriel Pino, 2018. "Do U.S. citizens support government intervention in agriculture? Implications for the political economy of agricultural protection," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 49(1), pages 119-129, January.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Mass Media; Media Structure; Information; Agricultural Protection; Political Economy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy

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