Media Competition and Electoral Politics
IEB Working Paper N. 2014/14
50 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2014
Date Written: March 24, 2014
We build a framework linking competition in the media market to political participation. Media outlets report on the ability of candidates running for office and compete for audience through their choice of slant. Citizens consume news only if the expected utility of being informed about candidates' ability is sufficiently large for their group collectively. Our results can reconcile seemingly contradictory empirical evidence showing that entry in the media market can either increase or decrease turnout. While information pushes up independent turnout, partisans adjust their turnout to the ability of their preferred candidate, and on average they vote less when informed.
Keywords: demand for news, electoral turnout, group-rule utilitarianism, media bias
JEL Classification: D72, L82
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation