SITE Job Market Seminar with Maiting Zhuang, Paris School of Economics
SITE will host a job market seminar "Intergovernmental Conflict and Censorship: Evidence from China Anti-Corruption Campaign" with Maiting Zhuang, Paris School of Economics.
2020-01-28 at 14:00
2020-01-28 at 15:30
Bertil Ohlinsgata 4, SITE library, 9th floor
Maiting Zhuang is a PhD candidate in economics at the Paris School of Economics. Her research interest lies within Political Economy, Development Economics, Economics of Media. She collects large-scale datasets of traditional and social media in China and use econometric and text analysis tools to evaluate how institutional constraints shape media content and how individuals' beliefs and actions are in turn influenced by the media. A second theme of her research focusses on understanding the strategic interactions and incentives between autocratic elites.
Job market paper abstract:
Media censorship is prevalent in autocratic regimes, but little is known about how and why censorship might vary within a country. I study how Chinese news papers report on officials caught during Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign, by collecting close to 40,000 articles in print and the corresponding social media posts and comments. I show that individuals are significantly more likely to search for and comment on news about corrupt officials from their own province. Yet, despite greater reader interest, local newspapers underreport corruption scandals involving high-level officials from their own province. Underreporting is greater when a newspaper does not rely on advertising revenue and a corrupt official is well connected. When newspapers do report on high-level corruption at home, they deemphasise these stories, by making them shorter, less negative and featuring of ficial sounding headlines without references to corruption or the anti-corruption campaign. Similarly, city-level newspapers report less about corruption in their own city relative to other cities in the same province, but are more likely to report corruption within their provincial government than corresponding provincial news papers. These results suggest that intergovernmental conflict within an autocracy can lead to diverging media censorship strategies by different levels of government.
To find out more about Maiting Zhuang and her research project, visit her >> website.