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Understanding the Internet's Relevance to Media Ownership Policy: A Model of Too Many Choices

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  • Nagler Matthew G.

    ()
    (Lehman College, City University of New York)

Abstract

Does the Internet provide a failsafe against media consolidation in the wake of an easing of media ownership rules? This paper posits a model of news outlet selection on the Internet in which consumers experience cognitive costs that increase with the number of options faced. Consistent with psychological evidence, these costs may be reduced by constraining one's choice set to "safe bets" familiar from offline (e.g., CNN.com). It is shown that, as the number of outlets grows, dispersion of patronage across outlets inevitably declines. Consequently, independent Internet outlets may fail to mitigate lost outlet independence on other media.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy.

Volume (Year): 7 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (June)
Pages: 1-28

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:7:y:2007:i:1:n:29

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Cited by:
  1. Jimmy Chan & Daniel Stone, 2013. "Media proliferation and partisan selective exposure," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 156(3), pages 467-490, September.

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