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Development, Environmental Policy, and Mass Media: Theory and Evidence

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  • Suphachol Suphachalasai

    () (Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge)

Abstract

This paper investigates the relationship between development, environmental policy determination, and mass media. It stresses the role of mass media as a channel through which the level of development influence environmental policy making. Special interests appear to wield considerable influence over environmental policies, and create policy distortion. We develop a model with two political parties competing in election and policy influence by special interests to study environmental policy determination. Mass media acts as information provider to voters in the election. It informs voters regarding environmental policy platforms announced by the political parties. The theory suggests that, as development progresses, environmental awareness rises and so does the demand for environmental news. This induces profit maximizing media form to report more environmental news, and in turn keeps voters better informed regarding the policy platforms of the parties. We find that, in equilibrium, a more stringent environmental policy is implemented when the voters are better informed through mass media. The model also demonstrates the way in which process of development brings about the stringency of environmental policy at a level closer to the social optimum when special interests present. Empirical evidence across countries supports our fndings.

Suggested Citation

  • Suphachol Suphachalasai, 2005. "Development, Environmental Policy, and Mass Media: Theory and Evidence," Environmental Economy and Policy Research Working Papers 15.2005, University of Cambridge, Department of Land Economics, revised 2005.
  • Handle: RePEc:lnd:wpaper:200515
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    File URL: http://www.landecon.cam.ac.uk/RePEc/pdf/200515.pdf
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Environmental Policy; Mass Media; Special Interests; Electoral Competition;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies

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