NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

David Moss

Business School
Harvard University
Morgan 261, Soldiers Field
Boston, MA 02163

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

September 2008Media versus Special Interests
with Alexander Dyck, Luigi Zingales: w14360
We argue that profit-maximizing media help overcome the problem of "rational ignorance" highlighted by Downs (1957) and in so doing make elected representatives more sensitive to the interests of general voters. By collecting news and combining it with entertainment, media are able to inform passive voters on politically relevant issues. To show the impact this information has on legislative outcomes, we document the effect "muckraking" magazines had on the voting patterns of U.S. representatives and senators in the early part of the 20th century. We also show under what conditions profit-maximizing media will cater to general (less affluent) voters in their coverage, providing a counterbalance to special interests.

Published: Alexander Dyck & David Moss & Luigi Zingales, 2013. "Media versus Special Interests," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56(3), pages 521 - 553. citation courtesy of

January 1999Courting Disaster? The Transformation of Federal Disaster Policy since 1803
in The Financing of Catastrophe Risk, Kenneth A. Froot, editor
 
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