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Effects of unemployment news on economic perceptions – Evidence from German Federal States
Hamburg Media School and University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany.
2018 (English)In: Regional Science and Urban Economics, ISSN 0166-0462, E-ISSN 1879-2308, Vol. 68, p. 172-190Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study investigates whether news coverage about unemployment affects people's perceptions of the state of the economy. I compile a German state-level data set, based on household surveys and information obtained from analyzing 35 newspapers. The data are used to separate media effects from real economic consequences, taking advantage of two sources of exogenous variation. First, I exploit the salience of “milestones” in the number of unemployed. The news value of these milestones, which is not based on economic fundamentals, causes the media to report more about unemployment than usually. Second, I show that the amount of reports decreases when competing newsworthy events occur at the time of the release of the monthly unemployment statistics. Instrumental variable estimates indicate that a one standard deviation increase in coverage accounts for about a quarter of the average monthly change in the index of economic perceptions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2018. Vol. 68, p. 172-190
Keywords [en]
Left-digit bias, media, News competition, Regional differences, Sentiment, competition (economics), federal system, household survey, mass media, perception, statistical analysis, unemployment, Germany
National Category
Media and Communications
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-41742DOI: 10.1016/j.regsciurbeco.2017.11.006ISI: 000425073200014Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85036532507OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-41742DiVA, id: diva2:1252762
Available from: 2018-10-02 Created: 2018-10-02 Last updated: 2018-10-02Bibliographically approved

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Garz, Marcel

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  • de-DE
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  • Other locale
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