Media Bias and Influence: Evidence from Newspaper Endorsements

C.-F. Chiang, B. Knight
2011 The Review of Economic Studies  
This paper investigates the relationship between media bias and the in uence of the media on voting in the context of newspaper endorsements. We rst develop a simple econometric model in which voters choose candidates under uncertainty and rely on endorsements from better informed sources. Newspapers are potentially biased in favor of one of the candidates and voters thus rationally account for the credibility of any endorsements. Our primary empirical nding is that endorsements are in uential
more » ... nts are in uential in the sense that voters are more likely to support the recommended candidate after publication of the endorsement. The degree of this in uence, however, depends upon the credibility of the endorsement. In this way, endorsements for the Democratic candidate from left-leaning newspapers are less in uential than are endorsements from neutral or right-leaning or newspapers and likewise for endorsements for the Republican. These ndings suggest that voters do rely on the media for information during campaigns but that the extent of this reliance depends upon the degree and direction of any bias.
doi:10.1093/restud/rdq037 fatcat:jgyvhxrtabe7zez5ri4ggunh2m