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Politicians under Investigation: The News Media’s Effect on the Likelihood of Resignation

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  • Sörensen, Jil
  • Garz, Marcel

Abstract

This paper studies the effect of news media on the probability of resignation from office of politicians being subject to criminal investigation. Using data on cases in which the political immunity of German representatives was lifted, we find that resignations are more common when the media covers the case intensely. The amounts of this news coverage, in turn, depend on the availability of other newsworthy, exogenous events. Therefore, we instrument for coverage of lifts of immunity with the overall news pressure. We estimate the causal effect and find that a 1 standard deviation increase in the amount of the coverage raises the likelihood of resignation by 22.3 percentage points.

Suggested Citation

  • Sörensen, Jil & Garz, Marcel, 2016. "Politicians under Investigation: The News Media’s Effect on the Likelihood of Resignation," VfS Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145531, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc16:145531
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Garz, Marcel & Sörensen, Jil & Stone, Daniel F., 2020. "Partisan selective engagement: Evidence from Facebook," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 177(C), pages 91-108.
    2. Balles, Patrick & Matter, Ulrich & Stutzer, Alois, 2018. "Special Interest Groups versus Voters and the Political Economics of Attention," IZA Discussion Papers 11945, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Balles, Patrick & Matter, Ulrich & Stutzer, Alois, 2023. "Television market size and political accountability in the U.S. House of Representatives," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 80(C).
    4. Jens Foerderer & Sebastian W. Schuetz, 2022. "Data Breach Announcements and Stock Market Reactions: A Matter of Timing?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 68(10), pages 7298-7322, October.
    5. Garz, Marcel & Maaß, Sabrina, 2021. "Cartels in the European Union, antitrust action, and public attention," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 186(C), pages 533-547.
    6. Ulrich Matter & Alois Stutzer, 2019. "Does Public Attention Reduce The Influence Of Moneyed Interests? Policy Positions On Sopa/Pipa Before And After The Internet Blackout," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 57(4), pages 1879-1895, October.
    7. Garz, Marcel & Pagels, Verena, 2018. "Cautionary tales: Celebrities, the news media, and participation in tax amnesties," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 155(C), pages 288-300.
    8. Altindag, Duha T. & Mocan, Naci & Zhang, Jie, 2021. "Freedom of Speech, Deterrence, and Compellence in the Parliament," IZA Discussion Papers 14308, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. Jetter, Michael & Walker, Jay K., 2018. "The Effect of Media Coverage on Mass Shootings," IZA Discussion Papers 11900, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    10. Garz, Marcel, 2018. "Effects of unemployment news on economic perceptions – Evidence from German Federal States," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 172-190.
    11. Jetter, Michael, 2019. "The inadvertent consequences of al-Qaeda news coverage," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 391-410.
    12. Bernhardt, Lea & Dewenter, Ralf & Thomas, Tobias, 2023. "Measuring partisan media bias in US newscasts from 2001 to 2012," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 78(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    news media; political accountability; prosecution; resignation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • K14 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Criminal Law
    • L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media
    • P16 - Political Economy and Comparative Economic Systems - - Capitalist Economies - - - Capitalist Institutions; Welfare State

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