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The Judge, the Politician and the Press: Newspaper Coverage and Criminal Sentencing Across Electoral Systems
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for International Economic Studies.
2015 (English)In: American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, ISSN 1945-7782, E-ISSN 1945-7790, Vol. 7, no 4, 103-135 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We study how media environments interact with political institutions that structure the accountability of public officials. Specifically, we quantify media influence on the behavior of US state court judges. We analyze around 1.5 million criminal sentencing decisions from 1986 to 2006 and new data on the newspaper coverage of 9,828 trial court judges. Since newspaper coverage is endogenous, we use the match between newspaper markets and judicial districts to identify effects. We find that newspaper coverage significantly increases sentence length by nonpartisan elected judges for violent crimes. For partisan elected and appointed judges, there are no significant effects.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 7, no 4, 103-135 p.
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URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-125213DOI: 10.1257/app.20140111ISI: 000366652500005OAI: diva2:892100
Available from: 2016-01-08 Created: 2016-01-08 Last updated: 2016-01-18Bibliographically approved

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Strömberg, David
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Institute for International Economic Studies
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