Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=898888
 
 

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Why Resource-Poor Dictators Allow Freer Media: A Theory and Evidence from Panel Data


Georgy Egorov


Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management; NBER

Sergei M. Guriev


Sciences Po; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Konstantin Sonin


Higher School of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

March 20, 2009

American Political Science Review, Vol. 103, No. 4, pp. 645-668, 2009

Abstract:     
Every dictator dislikes free media. Yet, many non-democratic countries have partially free or almost free media. In this paper, we develop a theory of media freedom in dictatorships and provide systematic statistical evidence in support of this theory. In our model, free media allow a dictator to provide incentives to bureaucrats and therefore to improve the quality of government. The importance of this benefit varies with the natural-resource endowment. In resource-rich countries, bureaucratic incentives are less important for the dictator; hence, media freedom is less likely to emerge. Using panel data, we show that controlling for country fixed effects, media are less free in oil-rich economies, with the effect especially pronounced in non-democratic regimes. These results are robust to model specification and the inclusion of various controls, including economic development, democracy, country size, size of government, and others.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 43

Keywords: media freedom, non-democratic politics, bureaucracy, resource curse

JEL Classification: P16, D72, D80, Q4

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Date posted: April 30, 2006 ; Last revised: September 17, 2014

Suggested Citation

Egorov, Georgy and Guriev, Sergei M. and Sonin, Konstantin, Why Resource-Poor Dictators Allow Freer Media: A Theory and Evidence from Panel Data (March 20, 2009). American Political Science Review, Vol. 103, No. 4, pp. 645-668, 2009. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=898888

Contact Information

Georgy Egorov
Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management ( email )
2001 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States
NBER ( email )
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Sergei M. Guriev
Sciences Po ( email )
27 rue Saint-Guillaume
Paris Cedex 07, 75337
France
Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)
77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom
Konstantin Sonin (Contact Author)
Higher School of Economics ( email )
20 Myasnitskaya street
Moscow, 119017
Russia

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)
77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom
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