mass media, public bads, voting, wealth inequality
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Since objective news coverage is vital to democracy, captured media can seriously
distort collective decisions. The current paper develops a voting model where citizens
are uncertain about the welfare e¤ects induced by alternative policy options and derive
information about those e¤ects from the mass media. The media might however secretly
collude with interest groups in order to inuence the public opinion. In the case of voting over the level of a productivity-enhancing public bad, it is shown that an increase in the
concentration of rm ownership makes the occurrence of media bias more likely. Although media bias is not always welfare worsening, conditions for it to raise welfare are restrictive.
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