An Offer You Can’t Refuse: Murdering Journalists as an Enforcement Mechanism of Corrupt Deals

32 Pages Posted: 20 Mar 2011

See all articles by Christian Bjørnskov

Christian Bjørnskov

Aarhus University - Department of Economics and Business; Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN); Center for Political Studies; Institute for Corruption Studies

Andreas Freytag

University of Jena - Department of Economics

Date Written: March 18, 2011

Abstract

Anecdotal evidence suggests that journalists and bureaucrats in some countries are killed when they try to blow the whistle on corruption. We demonstrate in a simple game-theoretical model how murders can serve as an enforcement mechanism of corrupt deals under certain regime assumptions. Testing the main implications in an unbalanced panel of 179 countries observed through three periods, we find that corruption is strongly related to the incidence of murders on journalists in countries with almost full press freedom. While our results provide evidence that journalists are killed for corrupt reasons, they also suggest that some countries may have to go through violent periods when seeking to secure full freedom for the press.

Keywords: Corruption, rent-seeking, murder

JEL Classification: Z13, P16

Suggested Citation

Bjørnskov, Christian and Freytag, Andreas, An Offer You Can’t Refuse: Murdering Journalists as an Enforcement Mechanism of Corrupt Deals (March 18, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1790384 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1790384

Christian Bjørnskov (Contact Author)

Aarhus University - Department of Economics and Business ( email )

Fuglesangs Allé 4
Aarhus V, DK-8210
Denmark

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) ( email )

Box 55665
Grevgatan 34, 2nd floor
Stockholm, SE-102 15
Sweden

Center for Political Studies

Landgreven 3
Copenhagen K, DK-1301
Denmark

Institute for Corruption Studies

Stevenson Hall 425
Normal, IL 61790-4200
United States

Andreas Freytag

University of Jena - Department of Economics ( email )

Carl-Zeiss-Str. 3
07743 Jena
Germany

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