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Should Utility-Reducing Media Advertising be Taxed?

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Author Info

  • Hans Jarle Kind
  • Marko Köthenbürger
  • Guttorm Schjelderup

Abstract

Empirical evidence suggests that people dislike ads in media products like TV programs. In such situations standard economic theory prescribes that the advertising volume can be optimally reduced by levying a tax on ads. However, making use of recent advances in the theory of Industrial Organization and two-sided markets we show that taxing ads may be counterproductive. In particular, we identify a number of situations in which ad-adverse consumers are negatively affected by the tax, and we even show that the tax may lead to higher ad volumes. This unorthodox reaction to a tax may arise when consumers significantly dislike ads, i.e. in situations where traditional arguments for corrective taxes are strongest.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2589.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2589

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Related research

Keywords: two-sided markets; media market; pricing strategy; ad-tax;

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References

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  1. Kenneth C. Wilbur, 2008. "A Two-Sided, Empirical Model of Television Advertising and Viewing Markets," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 27(3), pages 356-378, 05-06.
  2. Hans Jarle Kind & Tore Nilssen & Lars S�rgard, 2007. "Competition for Viewers and Advertisers in a TV Oligopoly," Journal of Media Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(3), pages 211-233.
  3. Evans David S., 2003. "Some Empirical Aspects of Multi-sided Platform Industries," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(3), pages 1-19, September.
  4. Motta,Massimo, 2004. "Competition Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521016919, November.
  5. Kind, Hans Jarle & Koethenbuerger, Marko & Schjelderup, Guttorm, 2007. "Taxation in Two-Sided Markets," Discussion Papers 2007/3, Department of Business and Management Science, Norwegian School of Economics.
  6. Fullerton, Don & Metcalf, Gilbert E., 2002. "Tax incidence," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 26, pages 1787-1872 Elsevier.
  7. ANDERSON, Simon P. & GABSZEWICZ, Jean J., 2005. "The media and advertising : a tale of two-sided markets," CORE Discussion Papers 2005088, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  8. GABSZEWICZ, Jean & LAUSSEL, Didier & SONNAC, Nathalie, 2002. "Attitudes toward advertising and price competition in the press industry," CORE Discussion Papers 2002026, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
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