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Media capture in a democracy: the role of wealth concentration

  • Corneo, Giacomo

Since objective news coverage is vital to democracy, captured media can seriously distort collective decisions. The current paper develops a voting model where citizens are uncertain about the welfare eþects induced by alternative policy options and derive information about those eþects from the mass media. The media might however secretly collude with interest groups in order to in.uence the public opinion. In the case of voting over the level of a productivity-enhancing public bad, it is shown that an increase in the concentration of firm ownership makes the occurrence of media bias more likely. Although media bias is not always welfare worsening, conditions for it to raise welfare are restrictive.

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Paper provided by Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 2005/1.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:fubsbe:20051
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  1. Sendhil Mullainathan & Andrei Shleifer, 2005. "The Market for News," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1031-1053, September.
  2. Djankov, Simeon & McLeish, Caralee & Nenova, Tatiana & Shleifer, Andrei, 2001. "Who owns the media?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2620, The World Bank.
  3. Baron, David P., 2004. "Persistent Media Bias," Research Papers 1845r, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
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  7. 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.
  8. Roemer, J.E., 1991. "Would Economic Democracy Decrease the Amount of Public Bads?," Papers 376, California Davis - Institute of Governmental Affairs.
  9. Jeffrey Milyo & Tim Groseclose, 2005. "A Measure of Media Bias," Working Papers 0501, Department of Economics, University of Missouri, revised 25 Aug 2005.
  10. Puglisi Riccardo, 2011. "Being The New York Times: the Political Behaviour of a Newspaper," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-34, April.
  11. David Str�mberg, 2004. "Mass Media Competition, Political Competition, and Public Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(1), pages 265-284.
  12. Harsanyi, John C, 1995. "Games with Incomplete Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 291-303, June.
  13. Benabou, R. & Laroque, G., 1989. "Using Privileged Information To Manipulate Markets: Insiders, Gurus, And Credibility," Working papers 513, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
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  16. Sendhil Mullainathan & Andrei Shleifer, 2002. "Media Bias," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1981, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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