This paper compares the deterrence provided by a competitive media sector towards government induced corruption with that of a media monopoly in a setting where the media might raise both true as well as false allegations of corruption. It finds that competition’s impact on corruption deterrence is not necessarily better than a monopoly but rather hinges on a delicate balance between government’s kickback from corruption and the media’s potential benefit from exposure. While the paper does identify conditions in which a competitive media sector would improve upon the deterrence provided by a monopoly, it also find conditions under which it would do no better than a monopoly and in some situations its strategic response could be even worse especially when it intensifies effort towards justifying false allegations.
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