University of Southern California
Essays in political economics.
Degree: PhD, Economics, 2010, University of Southern California
Three essays compose the dissertation. The first essay
entitled "Indirect Lobbying and Media Bias " analyzes amodel where
voters have state-contingent preferences over policies and lobbies
engage in in fluence activities to affect the information that a
media outlet collects on the state of the world. The media outlet
acts as a " filter" between lobbies and voters. It has to decide
what to communicate to voters given the information it collects and
its idiosyncratic bias. We show that, by targeting voters, lobbies
are able to indirectly in fluence the political outcome and thus
create a distortion in the political process. When the media outlet
has a small idiosyncratic bias the (unique) equilibrium is
characterized by a large level of lobbies ' in fluence activities
and no "news-slanting " by the media outlet. When the media outlet
's idiosyncratic bias is large, the (unique) equilibrium involves a
low level of lobbies' in luence activities and a high probability
of "news-slanting" by the media outlet. Moreover, we show that a
higher idiosyncratic bias of the media outlet may be associated
with a lower policy distortion and a higher voters' welfare. On the
other hand, public policy measures aimed at increasing the cost of
lobbies' influence activities would decrease the distortion in the
policy outcome and increase voters welfare. Finally, asymmetries in
lobbies' influence activities lead to different probabilities of
"news-slanting" by different media outlet 's types.; The second
essay entitled " Electoral Participation and Communicative Voting
in Europe " (joint with Pietro Navarra) provides an empirical
investigation of electoral participation and communicative voting
in 14 European countries. We estimate a multi-level voting process
where individuals face a participation decision (whether to vote or
abstain) and a voting decision (whether to vote strategically for a
likely winner party or as communicating for a sure loser party).
Our main findings can be summarized as follows. First, uninformed
individuals and independent ones are less likely to turnout.
However, being independent and uninformed does not have any
statistically significant effect on electoral participation. Thus
our results do not provide empirical support to the swing voter s
curse theory. Second, expressive motivations have a positive and
significant effect on electoral participation. Third, the
probability of voting as communicating is positively related with
the level of education and the degree of dissatisfaction with the
political system. Fourth, right wing extremists have a significant
lower probability of voting as communicating than moderate or left
wing extremists. Finally, institutional features characterizing the
functioning of the political system and of the media market have a
significant effect both on the participation and on the voting
decision.; The third essay entitled "Heterogeneous Preferences and
Endogenous Acquisition of Costly information" investigates how
individuals acquire costly information. We analyze a model of…
Advisors/Committee Members: Carrillo, Juan D. (Committee Chair), Mattozzi, Andrea (Committee Member), Wilkie, Simon J. (Committee Member), Tan, Guofu (Committee Member), Wilburn, Kenneth (Committee Member).
Subjects/Keywords: voting; media bias; indirect lobbying; information acquisition
to Zotero / EndNote / Reference
APA (6th Edition):
Sobbrio, F. (2010). Essays in political economics. (Doctoral Dissertation). University of Southern California. Retrieved from http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15799coll127/id/88107/rec/2434
Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):
Sobbrio, Francesco. “Essays in political economics.” 2010. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Southern California. Accessed October 20, 2020.
MLA Handbook (7th Edition):
Sobbrio, Francesco. “Essays in political economics.” 2010. Web. 20 Oct 2020.
Sobbrio F. Essays in political economics. [Internet] [Doctoral dissertation]. University of Southern California; 2010. [cited 2020 Oct 20].
Available from: http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15799coll127/id/88107/rec/2434.
Council of Science Editors:
Sobbrio F. Essays in political economics. [Doctoral Dissertation]. University of Southern California; 2010. Available from: http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15799coll127/id/88107/rec/2434