Journal Of The Econometric Society

An International Society for the Advancement of Economic
Theory in its Relation to Statistics and Mathematics

Edited by: Guido W. Imbens • Print ISSN: 0012-9682 • Online ISSN: 1468-0262

Econometrica: Jan, 2010, Volume 78, Issue 1

What Drives Media Slant? Evidence From U.S. Daily Newspapers
p. 35-71

Matthew Gentzkow, Jesse M. Shapiro

We construct a new index of media slant that measures the similarity of a news outlet's language to that of a congressional Republican or Democrat. We estimate a model of newspaper demand that incorporates slant explicitly, estimate the slant that would be chosen if newspapers independently maximized their own profits, and compare these profit‐maximizing points with firms' actual choices. We find that readers have an economically significant preference for like‐minded news. Firms respond strongly to consumer preferences, which account for roughly 20 percent of the variation in measured slant in our sample. By contrast, the identity of a newspaper's owner explains far less of the variation in slant.

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Supplemental Material

Supplement to "What Drives Media Slant? Evidence from U.S. Daily Newspapers"

PDF file containing supplemental appendix with additional analysis, tables and figures.

Supplement to What Drives Media Slant? Evidence from U.S. Daily Newspapers

Zip file containing supplemental data and programs (approximately 40MB)