Economic Factors Underlying the Unbundling of Advertising Agency Services
AbstractThis paper addresses a longstanding puzzle involving the unbundling of services that has occurred over more than two decades in the U.S. advertising agency industry: How can the shift from the bundling to the unbundling of services be explained and what accounts for the slow pace of change? Using a cost-based theoretical framework of bundling due to Evans and Salinger (2005, 2008), we develop a simple model of an advertising agency’s decision to unbundle its services as a tradeoff between the fixed cost to the advertiser of establishing and maintaining a relationship with an advertising agency and pecuniary economies of scale available in providing media services. The results from an econometric analysis of cross-sectional and pooled data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau for quinquenial censuses conducted between 1982 and 2002 support the key predictions of the model. We find that advertising agency establishments are more likely to unbundle if they are large and diversified in their service offerings and are less likely to do so with increasing age and greater geographical scope. We also find a strong trend toward unbundling over time, a result that is partially explained by increases in media prices over time.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau in its series Working Papers with number 09-15.
Length: 62 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2009
Date of revision:
Other versions of this item:
- Mohammad Arzaghi & Ernst R. Berndt & James C. Davis & Alvin J. Silk, 2008. "Economic Factors Underlying the Unbundling of Advertising Agency Services," NBER Working Papers 14345, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- D4 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure and Pricing
- L84 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Personal, Professional, and Business Services
- M37 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting - - Marketing and Advertising - - - Advertising
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-09-05 (All new papers)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Eaton, B Curtis & Lemche, S Q, 1991. "The Geometry of Supply, Demand, and Competitive Market Structure with Economies of Scope," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 901-11, September.
- Schmalensee, Richard & Silk, Alvin J & Bojanek, Robert, 1983.
"The Impact of Scale and Media Mix on Advertising Agency Costs,"
The Journal of Business,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 56(4), pages 453-75, October.
- Schmalensee, Richard. & Silk, Alvin J. & Bojanek, Robert., 1981. "The impact of scale and media mix on advertising agency costs," Working papers 1269-81., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
- McAfee, R Preston & McMillan, John & Whinston, Michael D, 1989. "Multiproduct Monopoly, Commodity Bundling, and Correlation of Values," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(2), pages 371-83, May.
- David Spector, 2006.
"Bundling, tying and collusion,"
PSE Working Papers
- Dennis W. Carlton & Michael Waldman, 2002.
"The Strategic Use of Tying to Preserve and Create Market Power in Evolving Industries,"
RAND Journal of Economics,
The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(2), pages 194-220, Summer.
- Dennis W. Carlton & Michael Waldman, 1998. "The Strategic Use of Tying to Preserve and Create Market Power in Evolving Industries," NBER Working Papers 6831, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Dennis W. Carlton & Michael Waldman, 1998. "The Strategic Use Of Tying To Preserve And Create Market Power In Evolving Industries," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 145, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
- Charles King & Alvin J. Silk & Niels Ketelhöhn, 2003. "Knowledge Spillovers and Growth in the Disagglomeration of the Us Advertising-Agency Industry," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(3), pages 327-362, 09.
- Sharon Horsky, 2006. "The Changing Architecture of Advertising Agencies," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 25(4), pages 367-383, 07-08.
- Alvin J. Silk & Ernst R. Berndt, 1993. "Scale and Scope Effects on Advertising Agency Costs," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 12(1), pages 53-72.
- Alvin J. Silk & Ernst R. Berndt, 1994. "Costs, Institutional Mobility Barriers, and Market Structure: Advertising Agencies as Multiproduct Firms," NBER Working Papers 4826, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Palfrey, Thomas R, 1983. "Bundling Decisions by a Multiproduct Monopolist with Incomplete Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(2), pages 463-83, March.
- Schmalensee, Richard, 1977. "Using the H-Index of Concentration with Published Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 59(2), pages 186-93, May.
- Richard J. Gilbert & Michael H. Riordan, 1995. "Regulating Complementary Products: A Comparative Institutional Analysis," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(2), pages 243-256, Summer.
- Whinston, Michael D, 1990.
"Tying, Foreclosure, and Exclusion,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 80(4), pages 837-59, September.
- Varian, Hal R., 1989. "Price discrimination," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 10, pages 597-654 Elsevier.
- Heckman, James, 2013.
"Sample selection bias as a specification error,"
Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
- Schmalensee, Richard, 1982. "Commodity Bundling by Single-Product Monopolies," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25(1), pages 67-71, April.
- James J. Heckman, 1976. "The Common Structure of Statistical Models of Truncation, Sample Selection and Limited Dependent Variables and a Simple Estimator for Such Models," NBER Chapters, in: Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 5, number 4, pages 475-492 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Schmalensee, Richard, 1984. "Gaussian Demand and Commodity Bundling," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(1), pages S211-30, January.
- Gilbert, Richard, 1988.
"Mobility Barriers and the Value of Incumbency,"
Department of Economics, Working Paper Series
qt52q9j63w, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Salinger, Michael A, 1995. "A Graphical Analysis of Bundling," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 68(1), pages 85-98, January.
- Kyle Bagwell, 2005.
"The Economic Analysis of Advertising,"
0506-01, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
- Bresnahan, Timothy F., 1982. "The oligopoly solution concept is identified," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 10(1-2), pages 87-92.
- Ron S Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2002. "The Longitudinal Business Database," Working Papers 02-17, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
- Kevin M. Murphy & Steven J. Davis, 2000. "A Competitive Perspective on Internet Explorer," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 184-187, May.
- Baron, David P & Besanko, David, 1992. "Information, Control, and Organizational Structure," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(2), pages 237-75, Summer.
- Silk, Alvin J & Berndt, Ernst R, 1994. "Costs, Institutional Mobility Barriers, and Market Structure: Advertising Agencies as Multiproduct Firms," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(3), pages 437-80, Fall.
- Adams, William James & Yellen, Janet L, 1976. "Commodity Bundling and the Burden of Monopoly," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 475-98, August.
- Maria Alipranti & Evangelos Mitrokostas & Emmanuel Petrakis, 2013. "Comparative versus Informative Advertising in Oligopolistic Markets," Working Papers 1301, University of Crete, Department of Economics.
- Alvin J. Silk & Charles King III, 2008. "Concentration Levels in the U.S. Advertising and Marketing Services Industry: Myth vs. Reality," Harvard Business School Working Papers 09-044, Harvard Business School.
- Sharon Horsky & Steven C. Michael & Alvin J. Silk, 2008. "The Internalization of Advertising Services: An Inter-IndustryAnalysis," Harvard Business School Working Papers 09-007, Harvard Business School.
- David S. Evans, 2009. "The Online Advertising Industry: Economics, Evolution, and Privacy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(3), pages 37-60, Summer.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Fariha Kamal).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.