Funded by the Russell Sage Foundation Small Grant in Behavioral Economics
Abstract: We examine how people's perceptions of media bias affect their demand for news. Drawing on a large representative sample of the US population, we measure and experimentally manipulate people’s beliefs about the extent to which newspapers suppress information. Inconsistent with the “more-information-is-better principle,” we find that people who learn that a newspaper is less likely to suppress information have a lower demand for news from this newspaper. Our results demonstrate that people have a demand for biased news, consistent with a desire to confirm pre-existing beliefs.