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Should Utility-Reducing Media Advertising be Taxed?

Author

Listed:
  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Hans Jarle Kind & Marko Köthenbürger & Guttorm Schjelderup, 2009. "Should Utility-Reducing Media Advertising be Taxed?," CESifo Working Paper Series 2589, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2589
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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp2589.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Hans Jarle Kind & Marko Köthenbürger & Guttorm Schjelderup, 2006. "Taxation in Two-Sided Markets," CESifo Working Paper Series 1871, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Motta,Massimo, 2004. "Competition Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521016919.
    3. Mark Armstrong, 2006. "Competition in two‐sided markets," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(3), pages 668-691, September.
    4. 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.
    5. 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).
    6. Anderson, Simon P. & Gabszewicz, Jean J., 2006. "The Media and Advertising: A Tale of Two-Sided Markets," Handbook of the Economics of Art and Culture, Elsevier.
    7. 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.
    8. Hans Jarle Kind & Tore Nilssen & Lars Sørgard, 2007. "Competition for Viewers and Advertisers in a TV Oligopoly," Journal of Media Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(3), pages 211-233.
    9. 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.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Stühmeier Torben & Wenzel Tobias, 2012. "Regulating Advertising in the Presence of Public Service Broadcasting," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 11(2), pages 1-23, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

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

    JEL classification:

    • D40 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - General
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H22 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Incidence
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

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