The Changing Face of Culture: Gauging the Impact of a Free Media

29 Pages Posted: 26 Jan 2013

See all articles by Nabamita Dutta

Nabamita Dutta

University of Wisconsin, La Crosse

Sanjukta Roy

World Bank

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: 2011


This paper empirically assesses the relationship between culture and a free press. The results reveal that a privatized or ‘free media’ strongly influences informal institutions of a country or what is commonly known as culture. By providing unbiased and a wide variety information to the masses, the media sector not only reduces information asymmetry and transaction costs but also helps generate higher levels of social capital. It acts as an effective liaison between the masses and the government and also among various religious, ethnic and other fractionalized groups in a society. We use the proxy of informal institutions identified by Tabellini (2007) which consists of four traits. The results are robust to alternate specifications and inclusion of controls.

Keywords: informal institutions, culture, media freedom, institution

JEL Classification: O10, Z1, FO1

Suggested Citation

Dutta, Nabamita and Roy, Sanjukta, The Changing Face of Culture: Gauging the Impact of a Free Media (2011). European Journal of Law and Economics, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN:

Nabamita Dutta (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin, La Crosse ( email )

Dept. of Economics, 1725 State Street
La Crosse, WI 54601
United States
6087855294 (Phone)

Sanjukta Roy

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

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