Brian Knight

Brian Knight

Speaker: Brian Knight, Professor of Economics, Brown University

Date: Thursday, April 26, 2018
Time: 5:30 PM
Place: 103 Barnard Hall

Title: How do Voters Cope with Media Bias?

Sponsoring department: Agricultural Economics & Economics


The media has become increasingly biased in its coverage of politics. Drawing upon evidence from three different continents, Knight will argue that voters are surprisingly sophisticated in responding to media bias. In the United States, readers account for the editorial slant of newspapers when presented with endorsements of candidates in Presidential elections. In Italy, television viewers re-sort across news programs following a shift in the ideological position of the main public channel. And, in Venezuela, television viewership responds quickly to the airing of government propaganda. By discounting biased information and changing media consumption patterns, these voter responses significantly limit the political influence of media bias and government propaganda.

About the speaker:

Brian Knight is a professor of economics at Brown University and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He previously worked as an economist in the Division of Research and Statistics at the Federal Reserve Board and has held visiting faculty positions at Yale University and Harvard University. He received his Ph.D. in 2000 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his B.S. in 1992 from Miami University. Research interests include political economy, fiscal federalism and local public finance. His research has been published in American Economic Review, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Journal of Political Economy, Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economics and Statistics, Journal of the European Economic Association, Economic Journal, International Economic Review, American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Journal: Applied Economics and Journal of Public Economics. He has served as a co-editor for the Journal of Public Economics and on the editorial boards at the American Economic Review, American Economic Journal: Economic Policy and the National Tax Journal.