The Watchdog Reassessed: Press Freedom, Access to Information and Corruption

39 Pages Posted: 26 Jan 2013

See all articles by Nabamita Dutta

Nabamita Dutta

University of Wisconsin, La Crosse

Sanjukta Roy

World Bank

Date Written: February 8, 2012

Abstract

Previous literature has talked extensively about the relationship between a free (independent) press and corruption. A free press ameliorates corruption levels in a country by acting as a watchdog and making the government more transparent and accountable to the masses. Another strand of literature analyzes how greater access to information encourages good governance. In this paper we take a step further. We emphasize that, press freedom and access to information, are two pillars of an efficient media sector and should be looked at together. Specifically, we analyze how press freedom and access to information (specifically to internet services, mobile phone and television) impact corruption levels of a country. We use a System GMM and a Difference GMM model to test our hypothesis. Our findings show that independence (free press) and access to information through internet, mobile and television, have a joint significant impact on corruption level of a country. While for countries, with lower press freedom, greater access to information may not mitigate corruption, there is a beneficial impact for high press freedom countries.

Keywords: Corruption, Press Freedom, Access to Information

JEL Classification: O11, C23, D73

Suggested Citation

Dutta, Nabamita and Roy, Sanjukta, The Watchdog Reassessed: Press Freedom, Access to Information and Corruption (February 8, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2206638 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2206638

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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