Public Choice

, Volume 161, Issue 3–4, pp 499–515

Good news and bad news: evidence of media bias in unemployment reports


DOI: 10.1007/s11127-014-0182-2

Cite this article as:
Garz, M. Public Choice (2014) 161: 499. doi:10.1007/s11127-014-0182-2


This study employs information obtained from media content analyses, as well as economic and political data, to investigate negativity in unemployment news between 2001 and 2010 in Germany. The data indicate a substantial bias in terms of the amounts of negative and positive reports, compared with the actual development of unemployment. Moreover, the media tend to place negative unemployment reports more prominently than positive ones. The estimates suggest that the bias is not the consequence of journalists asymmetrically interpreting the official unemployment numbers. Instead, it is associated with the exploitation of often non-economic information and structural influences in the process of news production.


Unemployment News media Information transmission Negativity 

JEL Classification

C31 D82 D83 H00 H40 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hamburg Media SchoolHamburgGermany

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