Media Freedom, Bureaucratic Incentives and the Resource Curse

42 Pages Posted: 23 Aug 2006

See all articles by Georgy Egorov

Georgy Egorov

Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management; NBER

Sergei Guriev

Sciences Po; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Konstantin Sonin

University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy; Higher School of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: July 2006

Abstract

How can a non-democratic ruler provide proper incentives for state bureaucracy? In the absence of competitive elections and separation of powers, the ruler has to be well-informed himself, and to gather information he may use either a secret service or the media. The danger of using a secret service is that it can collude with bureaucrats; overcoming collusion is costly. Free media aggregate information and thus constrain bureaucrats, but also help citizens to coordinate on actions against the incumbent. We endogenize the ruler's choice in a dynamic model to argue that free media are less likely to emerge in resource-rich economies where the ruler is less interested in providing incentives to his subordinates. We show that this prediction is consistent with both cross-section and panel data.

Keywords: media freedom, non-democratic politics, bureaucracy, resource curse

JEL Classification: D72, D80, P16, Q4

Suggested Citation

Egorov, Georgy and Guriev, Sergei and Sonin, Konstantin, Media Freedom, Bureaucratic Incentives and the Resource Curse (July 2006). CEPR Discussion Paper No. 5748, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=926150

Georgy Egorov

Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management ( email )

2001 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

NBER ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Sergei Guriev (Contact Author)

Sciences Po ( email )

27 rue Saint-Guillaume
Paris Cedex 07, 75337
France

HOME PAGE: http://econ.sciences-po.fr/staff/sergei-guriev

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Konstantin Sonin

University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy ( email )

1155 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Higher School of Economics ( email )

20 Myasnitskaya street
Moscow, 119017
Russia

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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