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Mass Media and Social Change: Can We Use Television to Fight Poverty?

Eliana La Ferrara

No 564, Working Papers from IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University

Abstract: This paper explores the potential use of entertainment media programs for achieving development goals. I propose a simple framework for interpreting media effects that hinges on three channels: (i) information provision, (ii) role modeling and preference change, and (iii) time use. I then review the existing evidence on how exposure to commercial television and radio affects outcomes such as fertility preferences, gender norms, education, migration and social capital. I complement these individual country studies with cross-country evidence from Africa and with a more in-depth analysis for Nigeria, using the Demographic Health Surveys. I then consider the potential educational role of entertainment media, starting with a discussion of the psychological underpinnings and then reviewing recent rigorous evaluations of edutainment programs. I conclude by highlighting open questions and avenues for future research.

Date: 2015
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cul and nep-dev
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (7)

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Related works:
Journal Article: MASS MEDIA AND SOCIAL CHANGE: CAN WE USE TELEVISION TO FIGHT POVERTY? (2016) Downloads
Working Paper: Mass Media and Social Change: Can We Use Television to Fight Poverty? (2015) Downloads
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