Monday, 19th June 2017
13:00 - 14:00
Butler Room - Nuffield College
Who Gets the Credit? News-Gathering Competition and Political Accountability
(joint with Dimitri Landa and Patrick Le Bihan)
We study the effects of media competition on political accountability in a setting with imperfect ability of the media to secure credit for breaking the news. Media outlets with pro-incumbent and pro-challenger biases can invest into costly efforts to acquire the news but each media can also copy the news stories of competitors. Citizens consume news as a private consumption good and use the information provided to hold elected officials accountable. We show that information is more abundant when it is easier for media outlets to secure credit for breaking the news. Surprisingly, concentrated, rather than competitive, media markets provide more information, and hence better accountability, when it is difficult to secure such credit. Moreover, media competition responds to increases in the ability to secure credit in a way that decreases the asymmetry of media market shares. Finally, depending on the difficulty of securing credit for breaking the news story, an increase in media bias may increase or decrease accountability and the asymmetry of media market shares.