Anecdotal evidence suggests that journalists and bureaucrats in some countries are killed when they try to blow the whistle on corruption. We demonstrate in a simple game-theoretical model how murders can serve as an enforcer of corrupt deals under certain regime assumptions. Testing the main implications in an unbalanced panel of 179 countries observed through four periods, we ﬁnd that corruption is strongly related to the incidence of murders of journalists in countries with almost full press freedom. While our results provide evidence that journalists are killed for corrupt reasons, they also suggest that some countries may have to go through quite violent periods when seeking to secure full freedom of the press.
An offer You Can’t Refuse: Murdering Journalists as an Enforcement Mechanism of Corrupt Deals
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