Greg Chih-Hsin Sheen

Greg Chih-Hsin Sheen

PhD Candidate

Department of Government

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About me

With formal theory and quantitative methods as tools, my research mainly focuses on strategic information transmission and media politics, in particular, censorship and self-censorship in both democracies and autocracies. I am looking for opportunities in academia.

Research interests: Formal Theory | Political Economics | Media Politics | Comparative Politics | Causal Inference

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Thesis: Media Politics in Democracies and Autocracies

My thesis consists of three essays applying formal modelling to study:

  1. When media outlets concern about reputation, when will they report critically and independently against the government?
  2. When an autocrat needs to learn information from the media but faces inherent commitment problem, under what kind of political environment will the media report truthfully instead of self-censoring?
  3. Whether providing the public reputational information about the media outlets can discipline them to produce high-quality reports?

Job market paper

Job market paper: Tell Me the Truth: (Un)committable Media Freedom in Dictatorships

The emerging literature on dictatorial media politics rationalizes the cross-country variation in media freedom by the dictator’s demand for truthful information. Yet, this line of research ignores the fact that the media are shadowed by the regime’s inherent commitment problem. As the dictator can always punish the media for their truth-telling ex post, the concerns of being censored could induce self-censorship and invalidate the dictator’s promise to media freedom. Hence even if the dictator requires truthful reporting ex ante, the media may not “tell the truth.” We formalize this commitment problem with a stylized model and show that the dictator suffers more severe information insufficiency when the society is stable and when he is more capable in manipulating information. Our analyses are illustrated with real-world cases and provide empirical implications for future research.

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Teaching record

  • GV225: Public Choice and Politics (LSE, 2016-2017)