March 1, 2009

Media as a Mechanism of Institutional Change and Reinforcement

  • Peter Leeson

    Senior Fellow, F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
  • Christopher Coyne

    Associate Director, F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
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This paper argues that mass media is a mechanism of  institutional evolution and identify three important effects media has on  institutions. The “gradual effect” involves media contributing to marginal  changes in existing institutions. The “punctuation effect” involves media  catalyzing rapid institutional overhaul. The “reinforcement effect” involves  media contributing to the durability and sustainability of punctuated  institutional equilibria.

Read this article at Wiley Online Library.