Coups, Regime Transition, and the Dynamics of Press Freedom

36 Pages Posted: 31 Oct 2018

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

Jerg Gutmann

University of Hamburg - Institute of Law and Economics

Date Written: 2018

Abstract

This paper explores the dynamics of press freedom around events that threaten or oust the incumbent regime of a country. While democracies on average grant the press more freedom, our theoretical starting point is that democracies and autocracies may have similar incentives to protect the power of the governing regime. A priori it is, nevertheless, not clear whether democracies or autocracies react more harshly – by silencing or controlling the media – to an attempt to overthrow the government. We estimate the dynamics of press freedom around both failed and successful coups and find that although press freedom is quite stable, successful coups lead to a substantial reduction in press freedom. This is, however, only the case when the coup is directed against a democratically elected government.

Keywords: coup, political instability, press freedom

JEL Classification: D740, H120, L510, L820

Suggested Citation

Bjørnskov, Christian and Freytag, Andreas and Gutmann, Jerg, Coups, Regime Transition, and the Dynamics of Press Freedom (2018). CESifo Working Paper No. 7198. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3275370

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

Jerg Gutmann

University of Hamburg - Institute of Law and Economics ( email )

Johnsallee 35
Hamburg, 20148
Germany

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