Media Freedom and Democracy: Complements or Substitutes in the Fight against Corruption?
Democracy and media freedom have been suggested as useful tools in the fight against political corruption, but so far their interplay in this fight has received scant attention. We present a game theoretic model which predicts that the corruption-reducing effect of democracy becomes stronger as media freedom increases. Using panel data covering the period 1980-2008 and 126 countries, we find empirical support for this prediction. Our main results hold when we control for the effects of income, time varying common shocks, regional fixed effects and various additional covariates. The complementarity between democracy and media freedom in the fight against corruption is also supported by Indian state level data.�
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