Sacha Dray

Welcome! I am a PhD candidate in Economics at the London School of Economics (LSE).


Fields: Public economics, Political economy and Development.


Email: s.s.dray@lse.ac.uk


If you wish to present at the STICERD Work in Progress seminar, feel free to contact me.

Work in progress

The Political Economy of Lockdown: Does Free Media Make a Difference? - With Tim Besley, 2020

This paper explores the role of the media in how governments are reporting on and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. In countries with free media, more deaths increase the probability of imposing a lockdown and are associated with greater reductions in mobility during lockdowns. This pattern is confirmed using predicted deaths from an epidemiological SIR model as an instrument for reported deaths. The findings can be explained by a simple model of policy-making where citizens with access to free media are better informed about the severity of the pandemic which in turn affects compliance and the decision to lock down.