Inequality and Media Capture

Posted: 27 Aug 2007 Last revised: 27 Jan 2008

See all articles by Maria Petrova

Maria Petrova

Institute for Political Economy and Governance, Barcelona; Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats - ICREA; Universitat Pompeu Fabra; Barcelona Graduate School of Economics (Barcelona GSE); New Economic School (NES)

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Abstract

People's support of redistributive policies depends on information they have about the tax system and efficiency of public projects. Mass media provides a convenient means for manipulating public opinion, even when voters understand that the media can be biased. I develop a theory of media capture in which the rich can influence information published in a media outlet at a cost. The model shows that higher inequality is associated with lower media freedom; this effect is stronger in democratic regimes. I find empirical support for the model in both panel data and cross-country models.

Keywords: inequality, redistribution, mass media, taxation, public goods

JEL Classification: D31, D72, H41

Suggested Citation

Petrova, Maria, Inequality and Media Capture. Journal of Public Economics, Vol. 92, Nos. 1-2, pp. 183-212, February 2008 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1007023

Maria Petrova (Contact Author)

Institute for Political Economy and Governance, Barcelona ( email )

Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27
Barcelona, 08005
Spain

Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats - ICREA ( email )

Passeig Lluís Companys, 23
Barcelona, 08010
Spain

Universitat Pompeu Fabra ( email )

Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27
Barcelona, E-08005
Spain

Barcelona Graduate School of Economics (Barcelona GSE) ( email )

Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27
Barcelona, Barcelona 08005
Spain

New Economic School (NES) ( email )

100A Novaya Street
Moscow, Skolkovo 143026
Russia

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