Beyond Borders: Is Media Freedom Contagious?
Russell S. Sobel
The Citadel - School of Business
University of Wisconsin - La Crosse
World Bank Institute
November 12, 2008
Kyklos, 63 (1), 123 - 133
Previous literature stresses the importance of free media for economic development. By its nature TV, radio, and newspapers cross borders allowing citizens to easily sample media from neighboring countries. This creates pressure for domestic reform and spreads media freedom between countries. Using spatial econometric techniques, and a sample of 102 countries, we test for the presence of geographic spillovers in media freedom. We find that a country's level of media freedom significantly depends on its neighbors. Countries 'catch' approximately 25 percent of their media freedom from neighboring countries. Our results are robust to alternative specifications and measures of press freedom.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 33
Keywords: Media Freedom, Contagion, Domino Effect
JEL Classification: C2, L82, O12
Date posted: February 12, 2009 ; Last revised: January 14, 2013