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Media as a Mechanism of Institutional Change

By Christopher J. Coyne and Peter T. Leeson


A large literature establishes the connection between institutions and economic performance. Comparatively little work, however, explores the process of institutional change. How do development-enhancing institutions emerge where they do not already exist? This paper investigates this question by examining the role of mass media as a mechanism of institutional change. Our analysis considers three case studies: Mexico, Russia, and Poland. We find that a free media facilitates institutional change in the direction of liberal economic and political institutions. In contrast, where government owns or controls the media, media’s ability t

Topics: JEL Codes, O1, P2, Z0 Keywords, media, institutional change, economic development ∗ Corresponding author
Year: 2009
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