November 5, 2007

The Reformer's Dilemma

Media, Policy Ownership, and Reform
  • Christopher Coyne

    Associate Director, F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
  • Peter Leeson

    Senior Fellow, F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
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Current proposals for strengthening policy ownership in reforming economies are fundamentally flawed. Modeling the reform process as a prisoners’ dilemma demonstrates that political agents must overcome this conflict of interests before present proposals for bolstering ownership will work. A politically autonomous mass media is one important mechanism enabling political agents to do this. Reforming countries without free media face an uphill battle overcoming the problems associated with transition. This paper tests this theory by investigating the relationship between media freedom, foreign aid, and economic development in 26 post-socialist transition countries. The results of this analysis support the authors' theory.

Read the article at SpringerLink.

Leeson, Peter T. and Christopher Coyne. "The Reformer's Dilemma: Media, Policy Ownership, and Reform." European Journal of Law and Economics 23, no. 3 (2007): 237-250.