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Competition and ideological diversity : historical evidence from US newspapers

Author: Matthew Gentzkow; Jesse Shapiro; Michael Sinkinson; National Bureau of Economic Research.
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : National Bureau of Economic Research, ©2012.
Series: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. 18234.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
We use data on US newspapers from the early 20th century to study the economic incentives that shape ideological diversity in the media. We show that households prefer newspapers whose political content agrees with their own ideology, that newspapers with the same political content are closer substitutes than newspapers with different political content, and that newspapers seek both to cater to household tastes and  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Newspapers
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Matthew Gentzkow; Jesse Shapiro; Michael Sinkinson; National Bureau of Economic Research.
OCLC Number: 801464636
Notes: Title from http://www.nber.org/papers/18234 viewed July 24, 2012.
"July 2012."
Has an online appendix (8 p.).
Description: 1 online resource (50 pages) : illustrations.
Series Title: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. 18234.
Responsibility: Matthew Gentzkow, Jesse M. Shapiro, Michael Sinkinson.

Abstract:

We use data on US newspapers from the early 20th century to study the economic incentives that shape ideological diversity in the media. We show that households prefer newspapers whose political content agrees with their own ideology, that newspapers with the same political content are closer substitutes than newspapers with different political content, and that newspapers seek both to cater to household tastes and to differentiate from their competitors. We estimate a model of newspaper demand, entry and affiliation choice that captures these forces. We show that competitive incentives greatly enhance the extent of ideological diversity in local news markets, and we evaluate the impact of policies designed to increase such diversity.

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