Rational Ignorance and Negative News in the Information Market

LICOS Discussion Paper No. 191/2007

12 Pages Posted: 17 Mar 2008

See all articles by Jill J. McCluskey

Jill J. McCluskey

Washington State University

Johan F. M. Swinnen

KU Leuven - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance (LICOS); European Commission, DG II

Date Written: October 2007

Abstract

While the availability of information has increased rapidly, the public is still considered poorly informed. This paper contributes to the emerging field of media economics by studying how the demand side of the media market affects news production and consumption. We show that consumers are likely to remain imperfectly informed on most issues and that negative news coverage is likely to dominate positive news stories because of demand side effects.

Keywords: Media, bias, rational ignorance, negative news coverage

JEL Classification: L82, D83

Suggested Citation

McCluskey, Jill and Swinnen, Johan F.M., Rational Ignorance and Negative News in the Information Market (October 2007). LICOS Discussion Paper No. 191/2007, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1106113 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1106113

Jill McCluskey (Contact Author)

Washington State University ( email )

School of Economic Sciences
Pullman, WA 99164
509-335-2835 (Phone)

Johan F.M. Swinnen

KU Leuven - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance (LICOS) ( email )

Waaistraat 6
Leuven, B-3000
Belgium

European Commission, DG II ( email )

Wetstrath 200
Office 15172
1049 Brussels
Belgium
+32-2-2960442 (Phone)
Not available (Fax)

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