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Economics of Media | Political Economy

Marcel Garz

Hamburg Media School, Finkenau 35, 22081 Hamburg, Germany

Marcel Garz


I am a postdoctoral researcher at Hamburg Media School, Germany, and a research fellow at the University of Hamburg’s Institute for Media Economics. Most of my work focuses on the economics of news markets. For related phenomena, such as media bias or negativity, I find it very helpful to employ an inter- or multidisciplinary perspective. Therefore, my research often involves elements of political science, psychology, and communications.



Hamburg Media School, Office 224, Finkenau 35, 22081 Hamburg, Germany

+49 40 413468 34

Working Papers

What Drives Demand for Media Slant?

With Gaurav Sood, Daniel Stone, and Justin Wallace. July 2017.


Politicians under Investigation: The News Media’s Effect on the Likelihood of Resignation

With Jil Sörensen. Journal of Public Economics, 153: 82-91, 2017 (working paper versionreplication data and code).

The Online Market for Illegal Copies of Magazines: A German Case Study

With A. Rott and M. Wass von Czege. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 59: 169–183, 2015.

Bad News Sells: The Demand for News Magazines and the Tone of Their Covers

With M. Arango-Kure and A. Rott. Journal of Media Economics, 27: 199–214, 2014.

Unemployment Expectations, Excessive Pessimism, and News Coverage

Journal of Economic Psychology, 34: 156–168, 2013.  

Job Insecurity Perceptions and Media Coverage of Labor Market Policy

Journal of Labor Research, 33: 528–544, 2012.


2nd Economics of Media Bias Workshop

After a successful start of the series in Hamburg in June 2015, the second Economics of Media Bias Workshop will take place from February 16-17, 2017, in Lausanne, Switzerland. Brian Knight (Brown University) and David Strömberg (IIES Stockholm) are confirmed to deliver keynote speeches. The workshop, which is organized by my colleagues and me, addresses the forms, causes, and consequences of media bias, especially in news markets. The program can be downloaded here. Posted: Nov. 24, 2016 (updated: Feb. 08, 2017)

Effects of Unemployment News on Economic Perceptions – Evidence from German Federal States

In a current working paper, I investigate whether news coverage about unemployment affects people’s perceptions of the state of the economy. I compile a German state-level data set, based on household surveys and information obtained from analyzing 35 newspapers. The data are used to separate media effects from real economic consequences, while exploiting two sources of exogenous variation. First, I consider psychologically important thresholds in the number of unemployed. The great news value of these “milestones”, which is not based on economic fundamentals, causes the media to report more about unemployment than usually. Second, I show that the amount of reports decreases when competing newsworthy events occur at the time of the release of the monthly unemployment statistics. Instrumental variable estimates indicate that a one standard deviation increase in coverage accounts for about a quarter of the average monthly change in the perception index. The findings help to understand (a) regional differences in economic sentiment and (b) incentives of politicians to manipulate economic statistics.

Posted: Nov. 16, 2016 (updated: Apr. 24, 2017)

Politicians Under Investigation

In a current working paper, my co-author and I study the effect of news media on the probability of resignation from office of politicians being subject to criminal investigation. Using data on cases in which the political immunity of German representatives was lifted, we find that resignations are more common when the media covers the case intensely. The amounts of this news coverage, in turn, depend on the availability of other newsworthy, exogenous events. Therefore we instrument for coverage of liftings of immunity with the overall news pressure. We estimate the causal effect and find that a change from no coverage to the mean coverage increases the likelihood of resignation by 6.4 percentage points. The effect is likely driven by the crowding out of reports on politicians with the same ideology as the newspaper, rather than reports on representatives with different political leanings. There is no evidence that the reporting affects the chances of conviction. Posted: Nov. 27, 2015 (updated: May 11, 2017)

Research Network obtains funding from the German Research Foundation (DFG)

My colleagues and I have been working on topics related to media bias for some time already. The German Research Foundation (DFG) recently agreed to support a proposal for an international, scientific network. The Research Network Economics of Media Bias promotes the discussion of ideas and work in the area, and it aims at integrating young researchers by connecting them with more experienced economists. As part of the network, it will be possible to continue the series of workshops “Economics of Media Bias”. Posted: Apr. 14, 2016

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