The media exert an important influence on politics and policy. In this course, we will discuss classic and recent research in economics that explores the role played by both traditional and new media in this respect. We will begin by looking at how the news and the entertainment media influence individuals’ behaviors and beliefs. We will discuss how the media can facilitate the accountability of public officials, but also consider how technological changes have put the traditional business model of the media at risk. Finally, we will turn our attention to the emergence of social media and what their unique network structure implies for these questions. We will approach these issues through the discussion of empirical research papers in economics. As part of the course, students will improve their understanding of state-of-the-art techniques for causal inference and learn to critically evaluate empirical research in economics.
This course is for 2nd year MIA and MPP students only.