IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/pra/mprapa/18215.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Indirect Lobbying and Media Bias

Author

Listed:
  • Sobbrio, Francesco

Abstract

In this paper, we study a model where voters have state-contingent preferences over policies and lobbies engage in influence activities to affect the information that a media outlet collects on the state of the world. The media outlet acts as a "filter" between lobbies and voters. It has to decide what to communicate to voters given the information it collects and its idiosyncratic bias. We show that, by targeting voters, lobbies are able to indirectly influence the political outcome and thus create a distortion in the political process. When the media outlet has a small idiosyncratic bias the (unique) equilibrium is characterized by a large level of lobbies' influence activities and no "news-slanting" by the media outlet. When the media outlet's idiosyncratic bias is large, the (unique) equilibrium involves a low level of lobbies' influence activities and a high probability of "news-slanting" by the media outlet. Moreover, we show that a higher idiosyncratic bias of the media outlet may be associated with a lower policy distortion and a higher voters' welfare. On the other hand, public policy measures aimed at increasing the cost of lobbies' influence activities would decrease the distortion in the policy outcome and increase voters' welfare. Finally, asymmetries in lobbies' influence activities lead to different probabilities of "news-slanting" by different media outlet's types.

Suggested Citation

  • Sobbrio, Francesco, 2009. "Indirect Lobbying and Media Bias," MPRA Paper 18215, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:18215
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/18215/1/MPRA_paper_18215.pdf
    File Function: original version
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Djankov, Simeon & et al, 2003. "Who Owns the Media?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 46(2), pages 341-381, October.
    2. Sobbrio, Francesco, 2011. "Indirect Lobbying and Media Bias," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 6(3–4), pages 235-274, November.
    3. Besley, Timothy & Burgess, Robin & Pratt, Andrea, 2002. "Mass media and political accountability," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 35988, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    4. Stephen Morris, 2001. "Political Correctness," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(2), pages 231-265, April.
    5. Bernhardt, Dan & Krasa, Stefan & Polborn, Mattias, 2008. "Political polarization and the electoral effects of media bias," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1092-1104, June.
    6. Leonardo Felli & Antonio Merlo, 2006. "Endogenous Lobbying," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(1), pages 180-215, March.
    7. Becker, Gary S., 1985. "Public policies, pressure groups, and dead weight costs," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 329-347, December.
    8. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1994. "Protection for Sale," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 833-850, September.
    9. Andrea Prat, 2002. "Campaign Advertising and Voter Welfare," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(4), pages 999-1017.
    10. Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2006. "Media Bias and Reputation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(2), pages 280-316, April.
    11. repec:ags:afjare:141665 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Matthew Ellman & Fabrizio Germano, "undated". "What Do the Papers Sell?," Working Papers 149, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    13. repec:cup:apsrev:v:92:y:1998:i:04:p:809-827_21 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Stergios Skaperdas, 1996. "Contest success functions (*)," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 7(2), pages 283-290.
    15. Simon P. Anderson & John McLaren, 2012. "Media Mergers And Media Bias With Rational Consumers," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 831-859, August.
    16. repec:cup:apsrev:v:88:y:1994:i:01:p:33-47_09 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Timothy Besley & Andrea Prat, 2006. "Handcuffs for the Grabbing Hand? Media Capture and Government Accountability," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 720-736, June.
    18. Alan S. Gerber & Dean Karlan & Daniel Bergan, 2009. "Does the Media Matter? A Field Experiment Measuring the Effect of Newspapers on Voting Behavior and Political Opinions," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 35-52, April.
    19. Sendhil Mullainathan & Andrei Shleifer, 2005. "The Market for News," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1031-1053, September.
    20. Prat, Andrea, 2002. "Campaign Spending with Office-Seeking Politicians, Rational Voters, and Multiple Lobbies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 162-189, March.
    21. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1996. "Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(2), pages 265-286.
    22. David Strömberg, 2004. "Radio's Impact on Public Spending," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 189-221.
    23. Morgan, John & Stocken, Phillip C, 2003. " An Analysis of Stock Recommendations," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(1), pages 183-203, Spring.
    24. Stephen Coate, 2004. "Pareto-Improving Campaign Finance Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 628-655, June.
    25. Tim Groseclose & Jeffrey Milyo, 2005. "A Measure of Media Bias," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(4), pages 1191-1237.
    26. Baron, David P., 2006. "Persistent media bias," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1-2), pages 1-36, January.
    27. Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2010. "What Drives Media Slant? Evidence From U.S. Daily Newspapers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(1), pages 35-71, January.
    28. Reinganum, Jennifer F., 1989. "The timing of innovation: Research, development, and diffusion," Handbook of Industrial Organization,in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 14, pages 849-908 Elsevier.
    29. repec:hrv:faseco:33078973 is not listed on IDEAS
    30. David P. Baron, 2005. "Competing for the Public Through the News Media," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(2), pages 339-376, June.
    31. Stromberg, David, 2001. "Mass media and public policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 652-663, May.
    32. David Strömberg, 2004. "Mass Media Competition, Political Competition, and Public Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(1), pages 265-284.
    33. Baye, Michael R. & Hoppe, Heidrun C., 2003. "The strategic equivalence of rent-seeking, innovation, and patent-race games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 217-226, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Indirect Lobbying; Media Bias; Influence Activities; Cheap-Talk;

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • 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

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:18215. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Joachim Winter). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/vfmunde.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.