Article | American Economic Journal: Applied Economics | October 2011

Government Advertising and Media Coverage of Corruption Scandals

by Rafael Di Tella and Ignacio Franceschelli

Abstract

We construct measures of the extent to which the four main newspapers in Argentina report government corruption in their front page during the period 1998-2007 and correlate them with government advertising. The correlation is negative. The size is considerable: a one standard deviation increase in monthly government advertising is associated with a reduction in the coverage of the government's corruption scandals by 0.23 of a front page per month, or 18% of a standard deviation in coverage. The results are robust to the inclusion of newspaper, month, newspaper president, and individual-corruption scandal fixed effects as well as newspaper-president specific time trends.

Keywords: Crime and Corruption; Advertising; Government and Politics; Newspapers; Media; Argentina;

Citation:

Di Tella, Rafael, and Ignacio Franceschelli. "Government Advertising and Media Coverage of Corruption Scandals." American Economic Journal: Applied Economics 3, no. 4 (October 2011): 119–151.