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The Role of Media Slant in Elections and Economics

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  • John Duggan

    () (W. Allen Wallis Institute of Political Economy, 107 Harkness Hall, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627-0158)

  • César Martinelli

    () (Centro de Investigación Económica, Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México)

Abstract

We formalize the concept of media slant as a relative emphasis on di¤erent issues of political interest by the media, and we illustrate the e¤ects of the media choice of slant on political outcomes and economic decisions in a rational expectations model. In a two-candidate elec- tion, if the media is biased in favor of the underdog, then it will put more emphasis on issues with a large electoral impact, hoping that the news will deliver an upset victory. Whether citizens are better o¤ with media biased in favor of the underdog or the frontrunner de- pends on the importance of choosing the .right.candidate for citizens versus the impact of political news on the private economic decisions of voters. Balanced media, giving each issue equal coverage, may be worse for voters than partisan media.

Suggested Citation

  • John Duggan & César Martinelli, 2008. "The Role of Media Slant in Elections and Economics," Wallis Working Papers WP54, University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy.
  • Handle: RePEc:roc:wallis:wp54
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