Measuring media liberalism or dirigisme degree by country

Economic Annals-ХХI: Volume 188, Issue 3-4, Pages: 4-14

Citation information:
Allakhverdieva, L. A. (2021). Measuring media liberalism or dirigisme degree by country. Economic Annals-XXI, 188(3-4), 4-14. doi:

Leyli Ali Allakhverdieva
PhD (Economics),
Associate Professor,
Scientific Secretary, Institute of Economics,
Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences
8 Karabakh Str., Narimanov District, Baku, AZ1008, Azerbaijan

Measuring media liberalism or dirigisme degree by country

Abstract. The author measures the degree of of the public regulation of the information services provision via media (media liberalism degree), namely via printed media, and television and radio broadcasting. The methodology of measurement of media liberalism degree (media freedom subindex) is part of the index of liberalism (or dirigisme in opposite) of information services, prepared according to Professor N. Muzaffarli’s assessment of the degree of the government intervention in the economy. In order to measure the media freedom subindex, the following indicators are used: the VAT index on printed publications, the VAT index on television and radio broadcasting, the index of license fee for watching TV, the VAT index of license fee for watching TV, the index of penalty for late VAT payment, the corporate tax index, the ratio of private and the state TV channels subindex. Measuring those indices in the studied group of countries made it possible to establish that: 1) Azerbaijan and Georgia are the most liberal countries with regard to the VAT index on printed publications, Bulgaria is the most dirigiste country; 2) the minimal VAT index on television and radio broadcasting is observed in Malta, the maximal – in Hungary; 3) in most countries the index of license fee for watching TV is lowest, with Austria having the highest indicator; 4) in Azerbaijan, the Russian Federation, Georgia and Armenia there is no concept of license fee for watching TV, respectively there is no related VAT; in the UK, Ireland, Malta, the Netherlands and Sweden this type of tax is not levied either; 5) the most liberal country in terms of the index of penalty for late VAT payment is Hungary, whereas Slovenia is the most dirigiste; 6) the most liberal country with regard to the corporate tax index is Hungary, while the most dirigiste is Malta; 7) in most countries the ratio of the private and state-owned TV channels subindex is equal to zero (there are no local public TV channels), with France being the most dirigiste country in terms of the subindex mentioned above. It can be noted that the most liberal media belong to Cyprus, the most dirigiste – to France. In most of the researched countries the media are more liberal than the relative center shows. It has been found that most countries with a higher level of economic development adhere to less dirigiste media policies, and vice versa. Also, there are countries that do not lend themselves to this pattern, for example, Ireland.

Keywords: Media; Liberalism; Dirigisme; Government Intervention; Information; Regulation

JEL Classifications:
 D83; H20; O33; O38

Acknowledgements and Funding: The author received no direct funding for this research.

Contribution: The author contributed personally to this work.

Data Availability Statement: The dataset is available from the author upon request.



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Received 1.02.2021
Received in revised form 29.03.2021
Accepted 31.03.2021
Available online 10.05.2021