The Sound of Silence: Anti-Defamation Law and Political Corruption
I study a model of political agency where a media firm plays a monitoring role between the electorate and the politician. The analysis focuses on the design of a legal framework for the press such that corruption is minimized. I find that an antidefamation law punishing media that publish false scandals reduces corruption only if (i) the punishment for the defamer is large enough to deter the publication of some true scandals and (ii) the electorate can punish the politician when no scandal is published.
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