Beyond Borders: Is Media Freedom Contagious?

Kyklos, 2009, 63 (1), 123-133

33 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2013

See all articles by Russell S. Sobel

Russell S. Sobel

The Citadel - School of Business

Nabamita Dutta

University of Wisconsin, La Crosse

Sanjukta Roy

World Bank

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 20, 2009


Previous literature stresses the importance of free media for economic development. By its nature TV, radio, and newspapers cross borders allowing citizens to easily sample media from neighboring countries. This creates pressure for domestic reform and spreads media freedom between countries. Using spatial econometric techniques, and a sample of 102 countries, we test for the presence of geographic spillovers in media freedom. We find that a country’s level of media freedom significantly depends on its neighbors. Countries ‘catch’ approximately 25 percent of their media freedom from neighboring countries. Our results are robust to alternative specifications and measures of press freedom.

Keywords: C2, L82, O12

JEL Classification: media freedom, contagion, Domino Effect

Suggested Citation

Sobel, Russell S. and Dutta, Nabamita and Roy, Sanjukta, Beyond Borders: Is Media Freedom Contagious? (May 20, 2009). Kyklos, 2009, 63 (1), 123-133, Available at SSRN:

Russell S. Sobel

The Citadel - School of Business ( email )

171 Moultrie St.
Charleston, SC 29409
United States

Nabamita Dutta (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin, La Crosse ( email )

Dept. of Economics, 1725 State Street
La Crosse, WI 54601
United States
6087855294 (Phone)

Sanjukta Roy

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

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