Does Media Stimulate Reform Efforts?

35 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2019

Date Written: August 16, 2019


This paper investigates to what extent media impacts political decisions. A viable practical approach to test the relationship between mass media and political actions is through the use of the World Bank's Doing Business data, specifically, by assessing local media coverage of Doing Business and implementation of business regulatory reforms. The tested hypothesis is that countries with higher media coverage of Doing Business tend to carry out more business regulatory reforms, assuming one- and two-year lags between media coverage and reform implementation. To achieve this objective, the study put together a comprehensive data set that encompasses country-specific local media coverage of the Doing Business report in 190 economies. The study finds that local media coverage of Doing Business has a significant influence on regulators' actions. First, the analysis shows that the number of local media articles tends to increase the probability of whether a country does any reform. Second, countries with greater media coverage of Doing Business indicators tend to have higher numbers of implemented reforms.

Keywords: Private Sector Economics, Marketing, Private Sector Development Law, Economic Theory & Research, Industrial Economics, Economic Growth, Labor Markets, Social Policy, Legal Reform, Legislation, Regulatory Regimes, Legal Products, Judicial System Reform, Educational Sciences

Suggested Citation

Ramalho, Rita and Saltane, Valentina, Does Media Stimulate Reform Efforts? (August 16, 2019). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 8984, Available at SSRN:

Rita Ramalho (Contact Author)

World Bank ( email )

Washington, DC 20433
United States

Valentina Saltane

The World Bank Group ( email )

1818 H St NW
Washington, DC 22201
United States

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