Beyond Borders: Is Media Freedom Contagious?

11 Pages Posted: 18 Jan 2010  

Russell S. Sobel

The Citadel - School of Business

Nabamita Dutta

University of Wisconsin - La Crosse

Sanjukta Roy

World Bank Institute

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Abstract

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 20 percent of their media freedom from neighboring countries. Our results are robust to alternative specifications and measures of press freedom.

Suggested Citation

Sobel, Russell S. and Dutta, Nabamita and Roy, Sanjukta, Beyond Borders: Is Media Freedom Contagious?. Kyklos, Vol. 63, Issue 1, pp. 133-143, February 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1536228 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6435.2010.00463.x

Russell S. Sobel (Contact Author)

The Citadel - School of Business ( email )

171 Moultrie St.
Charleston, SC 29409
United States

Nabamita Dutta

University of Wisconsin - La Crosse ( email )

1725 State Street
La Crosse, WI 54601
United States

Sanjukta Roy

World Bank Institute ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

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