Silence the Media or the Story? Theory and Evidence of Media Capture

72 Pages Posted: 15 Apr 2020 Last revised: 28 Jul 2020

See all articles by Charles Louis-Sidois

Charles Louis-Sidois

University of Mannheim - SFB 884 Political Economy of Reforms

Elisa Mougin

Sciences Po - Department of Economics; SciencesPo - LIEPP - Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Evaluation of Public Policies

Date Written: March 1, 2020

Abstract

We explore a theory of media capture where a principal can either influence journalistic investigation (internal capture) or let the media investigate and pay to suppress news stories at the publication stage (external capture). We predict that the likelihood of internal capture increases with perceived corruption but decreases in competition and protection of journalists. Exploiting new individual survey data from Reporters Without Borders, we use the revelation of the Panama Papers as a shock to perceived corruption. With a differences-in-differences identification strategy based on cross-country variation in exposure to the shock, we show that internal capture increases with perceived corruption.

Keywords: Media, Media capture, Corruption, Panama Papers

JEL Classification: D73, L82

Suggested Citation

Louis-Sidois, Charles and Mougin, Elisa, Silence the Media or the Story? Theory and Evidence of Media Capture (March 1, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3561443 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3561443

Charles Louis-Sidois

University of Mannheim - SFB 884 Political Economy of Reforms ( email )

L13, 17
Mannheim, 68131
Germany

Elisa Mougin (Contact Author)

Sciences Po - Department of Economics ( email )

28, rue des Saints peres
Paris, 75007
France

SciencesPo - LIEPP - Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Evaluation of Public Policies ( email )

27, rue Saint-Guillaume
Paris
France

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