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Abstract

This paper investigates the role of the media in reducing corruption. We analyze data on personal capture of public education expenditures by local officials in Madagascar. We find that corruption can be successfully constrained through a combination of media programs and monitoring. More transparent funding mechanisms and access to mass media reduce capture. However, the impact of the media is conditional on the characteristics of the population. With high illiteracy in poor regions, the effectiveness of newspaper and poster campaigns is limited, and radio programs are more important to reduce capture.

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