This question was posted on a forum (see here), and I thought it was interesting, especially in light of the recent spotlight on Matthew Gentzkow's work. So, I'm re-posting it here.

Some studies claim that newspaper articles are usually more liberal than their readership. Since the news market is competitive, should we doubt this claim?

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ How is this posting related to the field of economics? $\endgroup$ – Mico Jan 8 '15 at 6:51
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ If it were significantly improved, this might be a suitable question for Skeptics. But you'd need to specify which set of newspaper articles, which country, what time period, what definition of "liberal". $\endgroup$ – EnergyNumbers Jan 8 '15 at 11:07
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @Mico It's clearly a question about trying to sort out the incentives and the various supply and demand forces in the newspaper industry. Also, as the link notes, it is a HW question straight out of a PhD level microeconomics course. $\endgroup$ – jmbejara Jan 9 '15 at 20:49

This strikes me as a straightforward industrial organization anomaly question. Like, why do hot dogs and buns come in different counts to a package or why are the finest apples shipped out of apple producing regions?

Gentzkow and Shapiro (2010) that this paradox is only an apparent contradiction. They find slant is mostly a product of readership bias.

By contrast, we find much less evidence for a role of newspaper owners in determining slant. While slant is somewhat correlated across co-owned papers, this effect is driven by the geographic clustering of ownership groups. After controlling for the geographic location of newspapers, we find no evidence that the variation in slant has an owner-specific component. We also find no evidence that pressure from incumbent politicians or the tastes of reporters are important drivers of slant.

But jmbejara already mentions knowing about Gentzkow so it isn't obvious what he's looking for beyond this insight.

Timothy Taylor, Managing Editor of the JEP and blogger at CONVERSABLE ECONOMIST also has an article on this subject that may be of interest, The Economics of Media Bias.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.