Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Newspapers, Government Efficiency, and Voter Awareness

Christian Bruns and Oliver Himmler, both University of Goettingen, have published Newspaper Circulation and Local Government Efficiency at 113 Scandinavian Journal of Economics 470 (2011). Here is the abstract.

In this paper, we examine the role of the newspaper market for a key aspect of political accountability: the efficient use of public funds by elected politicians. Newspapers are a major provider of the political information voters use to monitor their elected officials, especially at the local level. Thus, the incentives for politicians to reduce budgetary slack should be stronger in jurisdictions where the electorate is well informed by newspapers. Using panel data on the circulation of some 150 newspapers in Norwegian municipalities, we show that increases in local newspaper circulation are associated with higher levels of local government efficiency.

The full text is not available from SSRN.

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