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Collective mass media bias, social media, and non-partisans

Xiaoyi Luo

Economics Letters, 2017, vol. 156, issue C, 78-81

Abstract: This paper builds a simple political agency model to demonstrate that there is a possible collective bias in the reporting of political issues, and suggests that this bias may lead society to a collective failure, in which overall social welfare is harmed. In our model, media outlets aim to build a reputation of high adeptness at policy forecasting, and audiences rely on policy information to make better decisions and update their beliefs regarding the quality of each outlet after the election outcome is revealed. The role of social media is incorporated into our model’s framework; thus, the chance of a non-partisan individual being informed about each political candidate’s proposed agenda depends on the collective mass media coverage of that candidate as well as the number of partisan individuals in favor of that candidate, since it is assumed that partisan voters post politically relevant information on social networks.

Keywords: Mass media; Social media; Media bias; Non-partisans; Public policy; Collective failure (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: L82 C72 D72 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:156:y:2017:i:c:p:78-81