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Coups and the dynamics of media freedom

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  • Christian Bjørnskov
  • Andreas Freytag, Friedrich Schiller University Jena, University of Stellenbosch, STIAS, ifo Institute – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich
  • ,
  • Jerg Gutmann, Univ Hamburg, Dept Biol, Inst Zool, University of Freiburg, ifo Institute – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich

Media freedom is important not only for the quality of life in a country, but also for its investment climate, as a free press is essential for holding politicians accountable. This is the first global study of how coups affect media freedom. We argue that the effect of a coup should depend on whether it is successful, whether the targeted country is democratic and how much of the economy it controls, and on the presence of constitutional rules protecting media freedom. Our empirical analysis shows that all these factors, except constitutional rules, matter for whether media freedom declines after a coup. Reductions are unlikely after failed coups, coups against autocracies or coups against very “small” governments. Activists, policy makers and businesspeople should pay close attention to the media sector after a successful coup against a democracy with a moderate or big size of government.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106025
JournalEconomic Modelling
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier B.V.

    Research areas

  • Coup, Media freedom, Political instability, Press freedom, Size of government

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