タイトル：Economic and Political Impacts of Newspaper Mergers: Evidence from Japan
Although local newspapers are a major source of information on local political news and facilitate democracy at the local level, they have declined in circulation due to severe competition with other news outlets. Merger of local newspapers may help their operation and survival in the market. In this paper, I estimate the economic and political impacts of local-newspaper mergers. To identify merger effects, I use a historical event, namely the government-led local-newspaper integration in Japan during World War II; local newspapers in each prefecture were integrated into a new local newspaper that circulated within the prefecture. I find that the local-newspaper merger increased local newspapers’ circulation, decreased national newspapers’ circulation and increased voter turnout for gubernatorial and national elections.