DP5748 Media Freedom, Bureaucratic Incentives and the Resource Curse
|Author(s):||Georgy Egorov, Sergei Guriev, Konstantin Sonin|
|Publication Date:||July 2006|
|Keyword(s):||bureaucracy, media freedom, non-democratic politics, resource curse|
|JEL(s):||D72, D80, P16, Q4|
|Programme Areas:||Institutions and Economic Performance|
|Link to this Page:||cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=5748|
How can a non-democratic ruler provide proper incentives for state bureaucracy? In the absence of competitive elections and separation of powers, the ruler has to be well-informed himself, and to gather information he may use either a secret service or the media. The danger of using a secret service is that it can collude with bureaucrats; overcoming collusion is costly. Free media aggregate information and thus constrain bureaucrats, but also help citizens to coordinate on actions against the incumbent. We endogenize the ruler's choice in a dynamic model to argue that free media are less likely to emerge in resource-rich economies where the ruler is less interested in providing incentives to his subordinates. We show that this prediction is consistent with both cross-section and panel data.