Media, Economics, and Geopolitics


Most of the challenges facing mankind in the 21st century transcend national borders and require effective and extensive international collaboration. The myriad of challenges ranges from climate change, emerging infectious diseases, international terrorism and transnational organized crime, to uncontrolled population movements, political instability, conflict and chronic underdevelopment, among many others. The media can play an important role in shaping peoples’ perceptions of these issues and thereby, indirectly induce economic or political agents to act (or not to act). What (and what not) news media choses to report on may have substantial economic and social consequences, for example, through their impact on peoples’ perceptions, their behaviors and through politics.

Logo of the European Research Council

The project will involve partners in the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission. The ERC Grant will be administered at the University of Bonn and work is expected to commence from August 2023. The research outputs will be presented here. Below is some past work that inspired me to develop this research proposal and that will be refined throughout the execution of the MEGEO project.

Related Research

Jeep in the Desert

Security Transitions, joint with Oliver Vanden EyndePedro CL Souza and Austin L WrightAmerican Economic Review, 111 (7): 2275-2308, 🔓  Open access.
⌨️ Blog Post

Broader coverage:  The GuardianAmerican Economic AssociationWashington Post Monkey CageLes Echos (French).

Context: This paper presents evidence that suggests that the withdrawal of NATO from Afghanistan was strategically gamed by the insurgent forces and highlights the potential for frictions of NATO fighting as a coalition in Afghanistan.

Tariffs and Politics: Evidence from Trump’s Trade Wars, joint with Carlo SchwarzEconomic Journal, Volume 131, Issue 636, May 2021, Pages 1717-1741, 🔓  Open access.
Broader CoverageAlternatives EconomiquesAlternatives Economiques (2)AmericaEconomiaEl ComercioEl MundoFinancial PostFinancial Times (Chinese)Frankfurter AllgemeineHandelsblatticonomixLa RepubblicaThe EconomistThe Economist FilmsWorld Economic ForumForbes, Seeking Alpha.
Non-technical summary: USAPPVoxEUCESifo

How Big is the Media Multiplier? Evidence from Dyadic News Data, joint with Tim Besley and Hannes-Felix MuellerCEPR Working Paper, January 2020, revised and resubmitted, Review of Economics & Statistics, 🔓  Open access.

Broader coverageVoxEU.

Context: This paper is the first in economics to build a relatively large dyadic news media coverage database capturing how other countries are represented in each others news. This is of natural relevance to many fields in economics. The paper documents that economic reactions to violent terrorist events

Image of caskets draped in American flags of remains of soldiers returned to America

Losing on the Home Front: Evidence from Afghanistan, joint with Pedro CLSouza, Austin L Wright and Oliver Vanden Eynde, revise and resubmit at American Journal of Political Science.

Context: This paper points to the difficulty of a heterogenous group to produce and provide effective security in Afghanistan. It shows how own country casualties are associated with significant worsening of public support for continued military intervention through a media- and news reporting channel. This highlights that information spillovers are important in shaping political preferences for transnational engagement and further points to the difficulties of team production in a foreign policy landscape with heterogenous constraints.