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Table of Contents

Is Newspaper Coverage of Economic Events Politically Biased?

John R. Lott, Crime Prevention Research Center
Kevin A. Hassett, American Enterprise Institute (AEI)

Corporate Governance in India - Evolution and Challenges

Rajesh Chakrabarti, Indian School of Business (ISB)

The Rise of the News Aggregator: Legal Implications and Best Practices

Kimberley Isbell, American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), Berkman Center for Internet & Society

Corporate Control and the Politics of Finance

Michael C. Jensen, University of Texas at Austin - School of Law, Harvard Business School, Social Science Electronic Publishing (SSEP), Inc., National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI), Preferred name Harvard College, Preferred name Harvard College

Youth, Privacy and Reputation (Literature Review)

Alice E. Marwick, Fordham University, Communication and Media Studies, McGannon Center
Diego Murgia-Diaz, Harvard University, Berkman Center for Internet & Society and Harvard Law School
John G. Palfrey, Harvard Law School


"Is Newspaper Coverage of Economic Events Politically Biased?" Free Download

JOHN R. LOTT, Crime Prevention Research Center
KEVIN A. HASSETT, American Enterprise Institute (AEI)

Accusations of political bias in the media are often made by members of both political parties, yet there have been few systematic studies of such bias to date. This paper develops an econometric technique to test for political bias in news reports that controls for the underlying character of the news reported. Our results suggest that American newspapers tend to give more positive news coverage to the same economic news when Democrats are in the Presidency than for Republicans. When all types of news are pooled into a single analysis, our results are highly significant. However, the results vary greatly depending upon which economic numbers are being reported. When GDP growth is reported, Republicans received between 16 and 24 percentage point fewer positive stories for the same economic numbers than Democrats. For durable goods for all newspapers, Republicans received between 15 and 25 percentage points fewer positive news stories than Democrats. For unemployment, the difference was between zero and 21 percentage points. Retail sales showed no difference. Among the Associated Press and the top 10 papers, the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Associated Press, and New York Times tend to be the least likely to report positive news during Republican administrations, while the Houston Chronicle slightly favors Republicans. Only one newspaper treated one Republican administration significantly more positively than the Clinton administration: the Los Angeles Times' headlines were most favorable to the Reagan administration, but it still favored Clinton over either Bush administration. We also find that the media coverage affects people's perceptions of the economy. Contrary to the typical impression that bad news sells, we find that good economic news generates more news coverage and that it is usually covered more prominently. We also present some evidence that media treats parties differently when they control both the presidency and the congress.

"Corporate Governance in India - Evolution and Challenges" Free Download

RAJESH CHAKRABARTI, Indian School of Business (ISB)

While recent high-profile corporate governance failures in developed countries have brought the subject to media attention, the issue has always been central to finance and economics. The issue is particularly important for developing countries since it is central to financial and economic development. Recent research has established that financial development is largely dependent on investor protection in a country - de jure and de facto. With the legacy of the English legal system, India has one of the best corporate governance laws but poor implementation together with socialistic policies of the prereform era has affected corporate governance. Concentrated ownership of shares, pyramiding and tunneling of funds among group companies mark the Indian corporate landscape. Boards of directors have frequently been silent spectators with the DFI nominee directors unable or unwilling to carry out their monitoring functions. Since liberalization, however, serious efforts have been directed at overhauling the system with the SEBI instituting the Clause 49 of the Listing Agreements dealing with corporate governance. Corporate governance of Indian banks is also undergoing a process of change with a move towards more market-based governance.

"The Rise of the News Aggregator: Legal Implications and Best Practices" Free Download
Berkman Center Research Publication No. 2010-10

KIMBERLEY ISBELL, American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), Berkman Center for Internet & Society

During the past decade, the Internet has become an important news source for the majority of Americans. According to a study conducted by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, as of January 2010, nearly 61% of Americans got at least some of their news online in a typical day. This increased reliance on the Internet as a source of news has coincided with declining profits in the traditional media and the shuttering of newsrooms in communities across the country. Some commentators look at this confluence of events and assert that, in this case, correlation equals causation – the Internet is harming the news business.

One explanation for the decline of the traditional media that some, including News Corporation owner Rupert Murdoch and Associated Press Chairman Dean Singleton, have seized upon is the rise of the news aggregator. According to this theory, news aggregators from Google News to The Huffington Post are free-riding, reselling and profiting from the factual information gathered by traditional media organizations at great cost. Murdoch has gone so far as to call Google’s aggregation and display of newspaper headlines and ledes “theft.? As the traditional media are quick to point out, the legality of a business model built around the monetization of third-party content isn’t merely an academic question – it’s big business. Revenues generated from online advertising totaled $23.4 billion in 2008 alone.

But for all of the heated rhetoric blaming news aggregators for the decline of journalism, many are still left asking the question: are news aggregators violating current law?

This white paper attempts to answer that question by examining the hot news misappropriation and copyright infringement claims that are often asserted against aggregators, and to provide news aggregators with some "best practices" for making use of third-party content.

"Corporate Control and the Politics of Finance" Free Download
Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Vol. 4, No. 2, pp. 13-33, Summer 1991

MICHAEL C. JENSEN, University of Texas at Austin - School of Law, Harvard Business School, Social Science Electronic Publishing (SSEP), Inc., National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI), Preferred name Harvard College, Preferred name Harvard College

In this paper I explore the effects of politics on corporate finance, including the determinants of capital structure and the regulatory and legal factors governing the market for corporate control. I examine the effects and consequences of the active corporate control market of the 1980s, then I outline the enormous political controversy and inaccurate media portrayals that ensued, and contrast them to the results obtained from intensive study of the phenomena by academic economists.

First, I review new macroeconomic evidence on changes in productivity in American manufacturing that is dramatically inconsistent with popular claims that corporate control transactions were crippling the industrial economy in the 80s. Second, I show how the restructuring movement of the 1980s reflected the re-emergence of active investors in the U.S. and how restructuring addressed the conflict between management and shareholders over control of corporate free cash flow. Third, I summarize my conception of LBO associations as new organizational forms that overcome the deficiencies of large public conglomerates. I also discuss the similarity between LBO associations and Japanese business financing networks known as keiretsu. Fourth, I argue that the highly-leveraged financial structures of the 1980s should lead to a Japanese-style privatization of bankruptcy (i.e., out-of-court reorganization). Fifth, I present a theory of boom-bust cycles in venture markets that explains why many companies involved with late-1980s leveraged transactions encountered financial distress. Sixth, I argue that misguided changes in the tax and regulatory codes and in bankruptcy court decisions have distorted the normal economic incentives for out-of-court reorganizations, resulting in increased costs of financial distress and a sharp rise in the number of Chapter 11 filings. Seventh and last, I propose a set of changes in the Chapter 11 process designed to reduce the costs of financial distress and thus maximize the total value of the firm to all investors.

"Youth, Privacy and Reputation (Literature Review)" Free Download
Berkman Center Research Publication No. 2010-5
Harvard Public Law Working Paper No. 10-29

ALICE E. MARWICK, Fordham University, Communication and Media Studies, McGannon Center
DIEGO MURGIA-DIAZ, Harvard University, Berkman Center for Internet & Society and Harvard Law School
JOHN G. PALFREY, Harvard Law School

Many adults worry about children and teenagers’ online privacy, predominantly due to a perception that youth put themselves at risk for harassment and solicitation by revealing personal information, usually to marketers or on social networking sites (Aidman 2000; Giffen 2008; Read 2006). First, commercial websites and advertising networks are said to manipulate children into providing personal data which is bought, sold, and used for monetary gain (Cai & Gantz 2000; Montgomery & Pasnik 1996; Moscardelli & Liston-Heyes 2004; Youn 2009). Second, recent privacy worries are centered around secrecy, access, and the risks that “public living? on sites like Facebook, MySpace, and YouTube poses from educational institutions, future employers, pedophiles, and child pornographers (Palfrey et al. 2008; Lenhart & Madden 2007; Youn 2009). These concerns can translate to blaming youth for their carelessness, with the frequently-cited maxim that “youth don’t care about privacy? (Kornblum 2007; Nussbaum 2007; Moscardelli & Liston-Heyes 2004). At the same time that youth are castigated for their openness, children and teenagers are under increasing surveillance at home and school, facilitated by Internet filters, mobile phones, and other monitoring technologies (Berson & Berson, 2006; Hope, 2005).

Often, young people are viewed on one side of a generational divide (Herring 2008). “Millennials? or “digital natives? are portrayed as more comfortable with digital technologies and as having significantly different behaviors than their “digital immigrant? parents (Palfrey & Gasser 2008; Solove 2008; N. Howe & Strauss 2000). There is a risk of this discourse exoticizing the experience of young people from an adult perspective, given the fact that adults perform most of the research on young people, create the technologies that young people use, and produce media commentary on children and teenagers (Herring 2008). Much of the popular media’s commentary on young people lumps children and teenagers together using a “generational? rhetoric that flattens the diverse experiences of young people in different contexts, countries, class positions and traditions.

For many of today’s young people, peer socialization, flirting, gossiping, relationship-building, and “hanging out? takes place online (boyd 2008; Ito et al. 2008; Herring 2008). Young people primarily use online technologies to talk with people they already know. Sharing information through social network sites or instant messenger reinforces bonds of trust within peer groups.
The idea of two distinct spheres, of the “public? and the “private,? is in many ways an outdated concept to today’s young people. Much of the studies of privacy online focus on risk, rather than understanding the necessity of private spaces for young people where they can socialize away from the watching eyes of parents or teachers. These seeming contradictions demonstrate how understandings of risk, public space, private information, and the role of the Internet in day-today life differ between children, teenagers, parents, teachers, journalists, and scholars.

The scope of this literature review is to map out what is currently understood about the intersections of youth, reputation, and privacy online, focusing on youth attitudes and practices. We summarize both key empirical studies from quantitative and qualitative perspectives and the legal issues involved in regulating privacy and reputation. This project includes studies of children, teenagers, and younger college students. For the purposes of this document, we use “teenagers? or “adolescents? to refer to young people ages 13-19; children are considered to be 0-12 years old. However, due to a lack of large-scale empirical research on this topic, and the prevalence of empirical studies on college students, we selectively included studies that discussed age or included age as a variable. Due to language issues, the majority of this literature covers the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, and Canada.


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