Special Interests and the Media: Theory and an Application to Climate Change
Public Lecture hosted jointly by the Grantham Research Institute and the Department of Economics
Abstract: This talk will use tools from game theory and economics to study how special interests compete for policy interest through the news media. The talk will explain why competition among special interests can make policy better by revealing useful information. It will also explain why such competition can make policy worse by creating the impression of false doubt and controversy. Climate change has been an example of the latter case, and the speaker will argue that this is, perversely, because the issue is so amenable to scientific analysis. The talk will argue that more partisan media might actually make things better.
Bio: Jesse M. Shapiro is the George S. and Nancy B. Parker Professor of Economics at Brown University. He is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and an editor of the Journal of Political Economy. Before joining Brown University, he was the Chookaszian Family Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and the inaugural Becker Fellow at the Becker Center on Chicago Price Theory. His research is in the areas of industrial organization and political economy. Shapiro attended Harvard University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree summa cum laude in economics and a master’s degree in statistics in 2001, and a PhD in economics in 2005. He was a 2011-2012 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow.
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