A Research Agenda for New Institutional Economics
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A Research Agenda for New Institutional Economics

Edited by Claude Ménard and Mary M. Shirley

Consisting of 30 concise chapters written by top scholars, this Research Agenda probes the knowledge frontiers of issues long at the forefront of New Institutional Economics (NIE), including government, contracts and property rights. It examines pressing research questions surrounding norms, culture, and beliefs. It is designed to inform and inspire students and those starting their careers in economics, law and political science. Well-established scholars will also find the book invaluable in updating their understanding of crucial research questions and seeking new areas to explore.
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Chapter 25: New media, new issues

Francesco Sobbrio


The creation of the Internet and the consequent dramatic expansion in the number and types of news sources have revived interest in the role of news media while posing novel research questions. There are several open research questions in the political economy of new media. What role do they play in the spread of “fake news”? What are their effects on voters’ beliefs, behavior and on the overall level of ideological polarization? What is their impact on citizens’ trust in experts and democratic institutions? Furthermore, we still need to fully understand to what extent new media and digital platforms represent tools to overthrow autocracies or, rather, whether they provide new propaganda and surveillance instruments for such regimes.

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