Sobbrio, Francesco (2009): Indirect Lobbying and Media Bias.
Download (452kB) | Preview
In this paper, we study a model where voters have state-contingent preferences over policies and lobbies engage in influence activities to affect the information that a media outlet collects on the state of the world. The media outlet acts as a "filter" between lobbies and voters. It has to decide what to communicate to voters given the information it collects and its idiosyncratic bias. We show that, by targeting voters, lobbies are able to indirectly influence the political outcome and thus create a distortion in the political process. When the media outlet has a small idiosyncratic bias the (unique) equilibrium is characterized by a large level of lobbies' influence activities and no "news-slanting" by the media outlet. When the media outlet's idiosyncratic bias is large, the (unique) equilibrium involves a low level of lobbies' influence activities and a high probability of "news-slanting" by the media outlet. Moreover, we show that a higher idiosyncratic bias of the media outlet may be associated with a lower policy distortion and a higher voters' welfare. On the other hand, public policy measures aimed at increasing the cost of lobbies' influence activities would decrease the distortion in the policy outcome and increase voters' welfare. Finally, asymmetries in lobbies' influence activities lead to different probabilities of "news-slanting" by different media outlet's types.
|Item Type:||MPRA Paper|
|Original Title:||Indirect Lobbying and Media Bias|
|Keywords:||Indirect Lobbying; Media Bias; Influence Activities; Cheap-Talk|
|Subjects:||D - Microeconomics > D8 - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty > D82 - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
D - Microeconomics > D7 - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making > D72 - Political Processes: Rent-Seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
D - Microeconomics > D8 - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty > D83 - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief
|Depositing User:||Francesco Sobbrio|
|Date Deposited:||29. Oct 2009 00:08|
|Last Modified:||12. Feb 2013 11:20|
Anderson, S., P., and McLaren, J. (2007) "Media Mergers and Media Bias with Rational Consumers", mimeo, University of Virginia.
Austen-Smith, D. (1993) "Information and Influence: Lobbying for Agendas and Votes", American Journal of Political Science, 37(3): 799-833.
Baron, D., P. (1994) "Electoral Competition with Informed and Uninformed Voters", The American Political Science Review, 88(1): 33-47.
Baron, D., P. (2005) "Competing For The Public Through The News Media", Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, 14(2): 339-376.
Baron, D., P. (2006) "Persistent Media Bias", Journal of Public Economics, 90(1): 1-36.
Baye, M., R., and Hoppe, H., C. (2003) "The strategic equivalence of rent-seeking, innovation and patent-race games", Games and Economic Behavior, 44(2): 217-226.
Becker, G., S. (1985) "Public Policies, Pressure Groups and Dead Weight Costs", Journal of Public Economics, 28(3): 329-347.
Bernhardt, D., Krasa, S., and Polborn, M., K. (2008) "Political Polarization and the Electoral Effects of Media Bias", Journal of Public Economics , 92: 1092--1104.
Besley, T., Burgess, R., Prat, A. (2002) "Mass Media and Political Accountability" in The Right to Tell: The Role of Mass Media in Economic Development. Edited by Islam, R. World Bank, 45-60.
Besley T., and Prat A. (2006) "Handcuffs for the grabbing hand? Media capture and government accountability", American Economic Review, 96(3): 720-736.
Coate, S. (2003) "Political Competition with Campaign Contributions and Informative Advertising", Journal of European Economic Association, 2(5): 772-804.
Coate, S. (2004) "Pareto Improving Campaign Finance Policy", American Economic Review, 94(3): 628-655. Della Vigna and Kaplan (2006) : Della Vigna, S. and
Kaplan, E. (2007) "The Fox News Effect: Media Bias and Voting", The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 122(3): 1187-1234.
Dewatripont, M. and Tirole, J. (1999) "Advocates", Journal of Political Economy, 107(1): 1-39.
Djankov, S., McLiesh, C., Nenova, T. and Shleifer, A. (2003) "Who Owns The Media?", Journal of Law and Economics, 46(2): 341-382.
Ellman, M. and Germano, F. (2008) "What Do the Papers Sell?", Economic Journal, forthcoming.
Falk, E., Grizard, E. and McDonald G. (2006) "Legislative Issue Advertising in the 108th Congress: Pluralism or Peril?", The Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics, 11(4): 148-164.
Felli, L. and Merlo, A. (2006) "Endogenous Lobbying", Journal of the European Economic Association, 4(1): 180-215.
Gentzkow, M. and Shapiro, J. (2006) "Media Bias and Reputation", Journal of Political Economy, 114(2): 280-316.
Gentzkow, M. and Shapiro, J. (2007) "What Drives Media Slant? Evidence from U.S. Daily Newspapers", NBER Working Paper No. 12707.
Gerber, A., Karlan, D., S. and Bergan, D. (2008) "Does the Media Matter? A Field Experiment Measuring the Effect of Newspapers on Voting Behavior and Political Opinions", American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, forthcoming.
Groseclose, T. and Milyo, J. (2005) "A Measure of Media Bias", The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 120(4): 1191-1237.
Grossman, G., M. and Helpman, E. (1994) "Protection for Sale", American Economic Review, 84(4): 833-850.
Grossman, G., M. and Helpman, E. (1996) "Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics", The Review of Economic Studies, 63(2): 265-286.
Grossman, G., M. and Helpman, E. (2001) Special Interest Politics, The MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Hellebust, L. (1996) Think Tank Directory: A Guide to Nonprofit Public Policy Research Organizations, Government Research Service, Topeka, Kansas.
Lohmann, S. (1998) "An Informational Rationale for the Power of Special Interests", The American Political Science Review, 92(4): 809-827.
Matsusaka, J., G. (2007) "Institutions and Popular Control of Public Policy", USC CLEO Research Paper No. C06-14.
Morgan, J. and Stocken, P., C. (2003) "An Analysis of Stock Recommendations", The RAND Journal of Economics, 34(1): 183-203.
Morris, S. (2001) "Political Correctness", Journal of Political Economy, 109(2): 231-265.
Mullainathan, S. and Shleifer, A. (2005) "The Market for News", American Economic Review, 95(4): 1031-1053.
Pepper, J. (2005) "Review of, The Bias Against Guns: Why Almost Everything You've Heard About Gun Control Is Wrong, John Lott, Jr.", Journal of Applied Econometrics, 20(7): 931-42.
Prat, A. (2002a) "Campaign Advertising and Voter Welfare", Review of Economic Studies, 69(4): 999-1018.
Prat, A. (2002b) "Campaign Spending with Office-Seeking Politicians, Rational Voters and Multiple Lobbies", Journal of Economic Theory, 103(1): 162-189.
Reinganum, J., F. (1989) "The timing of innovation: Research, development, and diffusion", Chapter 14 in Handbook of Industrial Organization, 1: 849-908.
Rich, A. (2004), Think Tanks, Public Policy and the Politics of Expertise, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom.
Skaperdas, S. (1996) "Contest Success Functions", Economic Theory, 7: 283--290.
Sobbrio, F. (2009) "Indirect Lobbying and Media Bias: Extended Version", mimeo, IMT Lucca.
Strömberg, D. (2001) "Mass media and public policy", European Economic Review, 45(4-6): 652-66.
Strömberg, D. (2004a) "Mass Media Competition, Political Competition, and Public Policy", Review of Economic Studies, 71(1): 265--284.
Strömberg, D. (2004b) "Radio's Impact on Public Spending", The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 119(1): 189-221.
"The Political Activity of Think Tanks: The Case for Mandatory Contributor Disclosure", Harvard Law Review, (Mar., 2002), 115: 1502-1524
Tullock, G. (1980) "Efficient rent seeking", in J. Buchanan, R. Tollison, and G. Tullock (Eds.), Toward a theory of the rentseeking society. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 97--112.
Yu, Z. (2005) "Environmental Protection: A Theory of Direct and Indirect Competition for Political Influence", Review of Economic Studies, 72(1): 269--286.