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Media Freedom and Democracy: Complements or Substitutes in the Fight against Corruption?

  • Sambit Bhattacharyya
  • Roland Hodler

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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File URL: http://www.csae.ox.ac.uk/workingpapers/pdfs/csae-wps-2012-02.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number WPS/2012-02.

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Date of creation: 01 Feb 2012
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:wps/2012-02
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  1. Claudio Ferraz & Frederico Finan, 2008. "Exposing Corrupt Politicians: The Effects of Brazil's Publicly Released Audits on Electoral Outcomes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(2), pages 703-745, 05.
  2. Alesina, Alberto & Devleeschauwer, Arnaud & Wacziarg, Romain & Kurlat, Sergio & Easterly, William, 2003. "Fractionalization," Scholarly Articles 4553003, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Toke S. Aidt, 2003. "Economic analysis of corruption: a survey," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(491), pages F632-F652, November.
  4. Brunetti, Aymo & Weder, Beatrice, 2003. "A free press is bad news for corruption," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(7-8), pages 1801-1824, August.
  5. Romain Wacziarg & Karen Horn Welch, 2008. "Trade Liberalization and Growth: New Evidence," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 22(2), pages 187-231, June.
  6. Toke Aidt & Jayasri Dutta & Vania Sena, 2006. "Governance Regimes, Corruption and Growth: Theory and Evidence," Discussion Papers 15_2006, D.E.S. (Department of Economic Studies), University of Naples "Parthenope", Italy.
  7. Hausman, Jerry & Stock, James H. & Yogo, Motohiro, 2005. "Asymptotic properties of the Hahn-Hausman test for weak-instruments," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 89(3), pages 333-342, December.
  8. Alicia Adsera & Carles Boix & Mark Payne, 2000. "Are You Being Served?: Political Accountability and Quality of Government," Research Department Publications 4241, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  9. Chowdhury, Shyamal K., 2004. "The effect of democracy and press freedom on corruption: an empirical test," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 93-101, October.
  10. Sambit Bhattacharyya & Roland Hodler, 2008. "Natural Resources, Democracy and Corruption," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 1047, The University of Melbourne.
  11. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
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