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Public service broadcasting of sport, shows, and news as economic solution to the voter's paradox of rational ignorance

  • Rothbauer, Julia
  • Sieg, Gernot

Rational individuals may use a Public Service TV channel as a welfare improving institution to solve the paradox of being uninformed. To induce voters to watch unbiased serious informational content the Public Service TV channel is not only broadcasting (unbiased serious) news but also sport and shows even though in many markets sport and shows are broadcasted by private TV channels. Our approach is based on two-sided markets and the assumption of decreasing marginal returns of the factor information in the production process of democratic decisions.

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Paper provided by Technische Universität Braunschweig, Economics Department in its series Economics Department Working Paper Series with number 9.

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Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:zbw:tbswps:9
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  1. Bryan Caplan, 2002. "Systematically Biased Beliefs About Economics: Robust Evidence of Judgemental Anomalies from the Survey of Americans and Economists on the Economy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(479), pages 433-458, April.
  2. Matsusaka, John G, 1995. " Explaining Voter Turnout Patterns: An Information Theory," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 84(1-2), pages 91-117, July.
  3. Andrea Prat & David Strömberg, 2006. "Commercial Television and Voter Information," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000363, UCLA Department of Economics.
  4. Simeon Djankov & Caralee McLiesh & Tatiana Nenova & Andrei Shleifer, 2001. "Who Owns the Media?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1919, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  5. Harry Arne Solberg, 2007. "COMMENTARY: Sports Broadcasting: Is it a Job for Public Service Broadcasters?-A Welfare Economic Perspective," Journal of Media Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(4), pages 289-309.
  6. Sendhil Mullainathan & Andrei Shleifer, 2002. "Media Bias," NBER Working Papers 9295, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Mark Armstrong, 2005. "Public service broadcasting," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 26(3), pages 281-299, September.
  8. Rochet, Jean-Charles & Tirole, Jean, 2003. "Platform Competition in Two-Sided Markets," IDEI Working Papers 152, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  9. Massimo Motta & Michele Polo, 1997. "Concentration and public policies in the broadcasting industry: the future of television," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 12(25), pages 293-334, October.
  10. Matsusaka, John G & Palda, Filip, 1999. " Voter Turnout: How Much Can We Explain?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 98(3-4), pages 431-46, March.
  11. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:121:y:2006:i:3:p:931-972 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135.
  13. David Dreyer Lassen, 2004. "The Effect of Information on Voter Turnout: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," EPRU Working Paper Series 04-03, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  14. Wittman, Donald, 1989. "Why Democracies Produce Efficient Results," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1395-1424, December.
  15. Mark Armstrong & Helen Weeds, 2005. "Public Service Broadcasting in the Digital World," Industrial Organization 0507010, EconWPA.
  16. Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2008. "Competition and Truth in the Market for News," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(2), pages 133-154, Spring.
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