IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Partisan Control, Media Bias, and Viewer Responses: Evidence from Berlusconi’s Italy

  • Ruben Durante
  • Brian Knight

    (Department of Economics (Brown University))

This paper examines whether and how viewers respond to changes in partisan bias in media news. We use data from Italy, where the main private television network is owned by Silvio Berlusconi, the leader of the centerright coalition, and the public television corporation is largely controlled by the ruling coalition. We first document that after the 2001 national elections, when the control of the government moved from the center-left to the center-right, news content on public television shifted to the right. Using individual survey data, we find robust evidence that viewers responded to these changes by modifying their choice of favorite news programs. On the one hand, right-leaning viewers increased their propensity to watch public channels which, even after the change, remained to the left of private channels. On the other hand, left-wing viewers reacted by switching from the main public channel to another public channel that was controlled by the left during both periods. We show that this behavioral response, which tended to shift ideological exposure to the left, significantly, though only partially, offset the movement of public news content to the right.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://spire.sciencespo.fr/hdl:/2441/eu4vqp9ompqllr09iats7d416/resources/j.1542-4774.2011.01060.x.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Sciences Po in its series Sciences Po publications with number info:hdl:2441/eu4vqp9ompqllr09iats7d416.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Mar 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of the European Economic Association, 2010
Handle: RePEc:spo:wpmain:info:hdl:2441/eu4vqp9ompqllr09iats7d416
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.sciencespo.fr/

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Timothy Besley & Andrea Prat, 2005. "Handcuffs for the Grabbing Hand? Media Capture and Government Accountability," STICERD - Political Economy and Public Policy Paper Series 07, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  2. Simeon Djankov & Caralee McLiesh & Tatiana Nenova & Andrei Shleifer, 2001. "Who Owns the Media?," NBER Working Papers 8288, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Ruben Durante & Brian Knight, 2009. "Partisan Control, Media Bias, and Viewer Responses: Evidence from Berlusconi's Italy," NBER Working Papers 14762, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Andrea Prat & David Strömberg, 2006. "Commercial Television and Voter Information," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000363, UCLA Department of Economics.
  5. Gerber, Alan & Karlan, Dean & Bergan, Daniel, 2006. "Does The Media Matter? A Field Experiment Measuring the Effect of Newspapers on Voting Behavior and Political Opinions," Working Papers 12, Yale University, Department of Economics.
  6. Tim Groseclose & Jeffrey Milyo, 2005. "A Measure of Media Bias," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(4), pages 1191-1237, November.
  7. Wing Suen, 2004. "The Self-Perpetuation of Biased Beliefs," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(495), pages 377-396, 04.
  8. Stefano DellaVigna & Ethan Kaplan, 2006. "The Fox News Effect: Media Bias and Voting," NBER Working Papers 12169, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Jonathan Reuter & Eric Zitzewitz, 2005. "Do Ads Influence Editors? Advertising and Bias in the Financial Media," Finance 0501003, EconWPA.
  10. Matthew Gentzkow & Edward L. Glaeser & Claudia Goldin, 2006. "The Rise of the Fourth Estate. How Newspapers Became Informative and Why It Mattered," NBER Chapters, in: Corruption and Reform: Lessons from America's Economic History, pages 187-230 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Riccardo Puglisi & James M. Snyder, Jr., 2008. "Media Coverage of Political Scandals," NBER Working Papers 14598, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse Shapiro, 2005. "Media Bias and Reputation," NBER Working Papers 11664, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. James M. Snyder, Jr. & David Strömberg, 2008. "Press Coverage and Political Accountability," NBER Working Papers 13878, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2006. "What Drives Media Slant? Evidence from U.S. Daily Newspapers," NBER Working Papers 12707, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Lisa M. George & Joel Waldfogel, 2006. "The New York Times and the Market for Local Newspapers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 435-447, March.
  16. Baron, David P., 2006. "Persistent media bias," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1-2), pages 1-36, January.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spo:wpmain:info:hdl:2441/eu4vqp9ompqllr09iats7d416. 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: (Spire @ Sciences Po Library)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.