Media Exposure and Midwestern Farmers' Responses to the U.S-China Trade War

Minghao Li, Xi He, Wendong Zhang, James M. Gbeda, Shuyang Qu, Lulu Rodgriguez
2021 unpublished
U.S. farmers bear the brunt of the U.S.-China trade war in 2018 initiated by a Republican administration that most farmers support. Analyzing a 2019 farmer survey in the Midwest, we find that frequent use of conservative (liberal) media is associated with a 2.3% decrease (2.4% increase) in farmers' expected income loss and a 14.3% increase in the probability of perceiving Market Facilitation Program payments as helpful. Viewers of different media sources disagreeing on facts including the level
more » ... of tariffs and the share of soybeans exported to China could partially explain the discrepancy in expected income impacts. We find little evidence for the association between media exposure and farmers' economic decisions. These results indicate that farmers' political attitudes are strongly associated with their economic perceptions but have weaker or no association with their behaviors. While previous studies find political bias in the perceptions of general economic conditions, we show that political attitudes also affect economic perceptions when people's financial interest is directly affected. 4 Political Bias, Media, and U.S. Midwest Farmers' Reactions to the U.S.-China Trade War
doi:10.22004/ag.econ.312684 fatcat:eokxfc6dsnfzbnjdei4m26cfea