Recent Advances in Media Economics: The Press as an Input to Democracy

Dr. Michael Sinkinson, Yale University

A free press has frequently been cited as a key component of democracy as an adversarial press holds political agents to account. In this session, I review evidence of the impact of the press on political participation, but also revisit the ideas of a press that caters to political bias. The classic question of whether media inform or persuade has seen much attention of late, and evidence is indeed mixed. I will conclude with a review of how media respond to competition and the implications for the provision of information – a key component of democracy – and how recent challenges to media outlets, such as the decline in the monetization of advertising, may, or may not, have affected the provision of information.

Michael Sinkinson is an Assistant Professor of Economics at the Yale School of Management, specializing in Applied Microeconomics and Industrial Organization. His research focuses on questions of market structure as they relate to the industries of media, technology, and telecommunications. Specific topics he has worked on in this area include advertising, contracting, product positioning and spectrum allocation. His research has been published in leading journals such as the American Economic Review.

Michael received his PhD in Business Economics from Harvard University and Harvard Business School and his undergraduate degree in Commerce from Queen’s University. At Yale, Michael teaches Microeconomics in the MBA and EMBA programs. Prior to Academia, he worked in consulting at McKinsey & Company and Cornerstone Research, and worked as a researcher at the University of Chicago.