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Abstract:

Political Economy and Public Policy Paper
Handcuffs for the Grabbing Hand? Media Capture and Government Accountability
Timothy Besley and Andrea Prat
August 2005
Paper No' PEPP 07:
Full Paper (pdf)

It has long been recognized that the media play an essential role in government accountability. However, even in the absence of censorship, the government may influence news content by maintaining a “cozy” relationship with the media. This paper develops a model of democratic politics in which media capture is endogenous. The model offers insights into the features of the media market that determine the ability of the government to exercise such capture and hence to influence political outcomes