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The price of silence: Media competition, capture, and electoral accountability

Federico Trombetta and Domenico Rossignoli

European Journal of Political Economy, 2021, vol. 69, issue C

Abstract: Is competition in the mass media market an effective deterrent against media capture? Does it prevent political groups from influencing reporting? This paper shows that in some cases it does not. Building on the literature on media capture, the model highlights that, under fairly generic assumptions, high competition in the media market can drive the cost of media capture to zero, making capture easier. Moreover, it highlights conditions on the parameters where the effect of competition on capture is non-monotonic, i.e. capture may occur for levels of competition lower, but also higher, than those leading to media freedom.

Keywords: Political agency; Mass media; Competition; Media capture (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D72 D73 D78 L82 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2020.101939

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European Journal of Political Economy is currently edited by J. De Haan, A. L. Hillman and H. W. Ursprung

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