(), Andreas Freytag
() and Jerg Gutmann
Christian Bjørnskov: Aarhus University, Postal: and Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)
Andreas Freytag: School of Economics and Business Administration, Postal: Friedrich Schiller Iniversität Jena, Germany, University of Stennenbosch, and CESifo Research Network
Jerg Gutmann: Institute of Law and Economics, Postal: University of Hamburg, Germany
Abstract: This paper explores the dynamics of press freedom around events that threaten or oust the incumbent regime of a country. While democracies on average grant the press more freedom, our theoretical starting point is that democracies and autocracies may have similar incentives to protect the power of the governing regime. A priori it is, nevertheless, not clear whether democracies or autocracies react more harshly – by silencing or controlling the media – to an attempt to overthrow the government. We estimate the dynamics of press freedom around both failed and successful coups and find that although press freedom is quite stable, successful coups lead to a substantial reduction in press freedom. This is, however, only the case when the coup is directed against a democratically elected government.
34 pages, August 20, 2018
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