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Besley & Burgess (2002) Media and Policy – Does media make the state more responsive to the needs of the elec- torate? Role of information transmission in highlighting an issue and making it salient to voters Possibility that salience for a minority leads to public action Model: How media development and democracy can create incen- tives for incumbent governments to respond to crises Empirics: Media’s influence on Indian state government’s response to droughts & floods using panel data from 1958-92 Suggests that media improves political accountability Government responsiveness is a key issue in low income countries where popula- tions may rely on state action for survival due to frequent shocks, i.e., droughts and floods What determines government responsiveness?
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Unformatted text preview: - i.e., whether it responds via relief expenditures or public food distribution? Analysis suggests that political participation & competition important to responsiveness • Responsiveness increases with newspaper circulation- allows citizens to monitor incumbent’s current policy action- indicates whether they will be protected in the future Both democracy and the free Fow of information appear to be important in ensur-ing that politicians respond to the citizen’s needs Theoretical Framework ◦ The model links incumbent’s actions & reelection incentives by sup-posing that voters use observations about incumbent effort as infor-mation about the incumbents underlying type. Development Economics, LSE Summer School 2007 50...
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