American Economic Journal: Applied Economics: Vol. 6 No. 3 (July 2014)

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Meet the Press: How Voters and Politicians Respond to Newspaper Entry and Exit

Article Citation

Drago, Francesco, Tommaso Nannicini, and Francesco Sobbrio. 2014. "Meet the Press: How Voters and Politicians Respond to Newspaper Entry and Exit." American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 6(3): 159-88.

DOI: 10.1257/app.6.3.159

Abstract

This paper uses an original dataset covering the presence of local news in medium-large Italian cities in the period 1993–2010 to evaluate the effects of newspaper entry and exit on electoral participation, political selection, and government efficiency. Exploiting discrete changes in the number of newspapers, we show that newspaper entry increases turnout in municipal elections, the reelection probability of the incumbent mayor, and the efficiency of the municipal government. We do not find any effect on the selection of politicians. Competition plays a relevant role, as the effects are not limited to the first newspaper entry.

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Authors

Drago, Francesco (U Naples Federico II and IZA, Bonn)
Nannicini, Tommaso (IGIER, Bocconi U and IZA, Bonn)
Sobbrio, Francesco (Catholic U Sacred Heart, Milan)

JEL Classifications

D72: Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
L11: Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
L82: Entertainment; Media

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