The War of Ideas: Institutions and Global Media Bias

82 Pages Posted: 16 Apr 2024

See all articles by Sibo Liu

Sibo Liu

Hong Kong Baptist University

Alexey Makarin

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management; Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Jinfeng Wu

Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST)

Dong Zhang

Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST)

Date Written: April 5, 2024

Abstract

We present the first systematic evidence of global media bias using a newly constructed sample of 1.4 billion news articles issued by 57,815 distinct media sources from 176 countries between 2015 and 2022. These articles are issued by media outlets from one country covering issues in another. We find that institutional distance between the media reporting country and the target country shapes the sentiment of the news articles, suggesting global media bias between countries. This effect becomes more pronounced when authoritarian countries cover democratic countries, when state-controlled media is present, or when the reporting country experiences an economic downturn or inflation. This media bias extends beyond political topics and encompasses a variety of social and economic issues as well. Our findings are confirmed by a natural experiment of regime shifts among the reporting countries. Additional analysis suggests potential economic losses stemming from these ideological conflicts, as evidenced by their relationship with both equity and loan markets.

Keywords: Institutions, Media Bias, Ideology, Geopolitics

JEL Classification: P00, F51, D74, L82

Suggested Citation

Liu, Sibo and Makarin, Alexey and Wu, Jinfeng and Zhang, Dong, The War of Ideas: Institutions and Global Media Bias (April 5, 2024). MIT Sloan Research Paper Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4785567 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4785567

Sibo Liu

Hong Kong Baptist University ( email )

Renfrew Road 34
Kowloon Tong
Hong Kong

Alexey Makarin

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management ( email )

100 Main Street
E62-416
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://alexeymakarin.github.io/

Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF)

Via Sallustiana, 62
Rome, Lazio 00187
Italy

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Jinfeng Wu

Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST) ( email )

Clearwater Bay
Kowloon, 999999
Hong Kong

Dong Zhang (Contact Author)

Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST) ( email )

Clearwater Bay
Kowloon, 999999
Hong Kong

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