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The Impact of Internet on the Market for Daily Newspapers in Italy

  • Lapo Filistrucchi

Recent years have seen a surge in websites that provide news for free and, up to the end of 2001, daily newspapers in Italy have shown a growing trend towards making available online for free; the exact articles published on paper. To assess whether on-line news and traditional daily newspapers are substitute, complement or independent goods, I model the choice between different daily newspapers as a discrete choice among differentiated products. Considering the availability of a website as a newspaper characteristic and controlling for other observable and unobservable characteristics of newspapers and of the outside good, I estimate a logit model of demand on market level data from 1976 to 2001 for the main national daily newspapers in Italy. Results suggest that opening a website had a negative impact both on the sales of the newspaper who opened it and on those of its rivals. I calculate the implied short-run and approximated long-run losses in both sales and profits and provide some evidence of the additional negative effect stemming from the general availability of Internet and on-line news. Results also contribute to explaining why, starting from the end of 2001, many publishers introduced a fee to read on-line the paper edition of the newspaper.

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Paper provided by European University Institute in its series Economics Working Papers with number ECO2005/12.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:eui:euiwps:eco2005/12
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  1. Matthew Gentzkow, 2007. "Valuing New Goods in a Model with Complementarity: Online Newspapers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 713-744, June.
  2. Berry, Steven & Levinsohn, James & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Automobile Prices in Market Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 841-90, July.
  3. Nevo, Aviv, 1998. "Measuring Market Power in the Ready-To-Eat Cereal Industry," Research Reports 25164, University of Connecticut, Food Marketing Policy Center.
  4. Cecchetti, Stephen G., 1986. "The frequency of price adjustment : A study of the newsstand prices of magazines," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 255-274, April.
  5. Elena Argentesi & Lapo Filistrucchi, 2005. "Estimating market power in a two-sided market: the case of newspapers," Economics Working Papers ECO2005/07, European University Institute.
  6. Kaiser, Ulrich, 2001. "The effects of website provision on the demand for German women's magazines," ZEW Discussion Papers 01-69, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
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  9. Ulrich Kaiser & Hans Christian Kongsted, 2005. "Do Magazines' "Companion Websites" Cannibalize the Demand for the Print Version?," CAM Working Papers 2005-07, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Applied Microeconometrics.
  10. Kenneth Train, 2003. "Discrete Choice Methods with Simulation," Online economics textbooks, SUNY-Oswego, Department of Economics, number emetr2, March.
  11. Dewenter, Ralf, 2003. "Rational Addiction to News?," Working Paper 2/2003, Helmut Schmidt University, Hamburg.
  12. Elena Argentesi, 2004. "Demand Estimation for Italian Newspapers: The Impact of Weekly Supplements," Economics Working Papers ECO2004/28, European University Institute.
  13. Fisher, Timothy C. G. & Konieczny, Jerzy D., 2000. "Synchronization of price changes by multiproduct firms: evidence from Canadian newspaper prices," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 271-277, September.
  14. Jonathan L. Willis, 2000. "Estimation of adjustment costs in a model of state-dependent pricing," Research Working Paper RWP 00-07, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  15. Booth, D L, et al, 1991. "An Empirical Model of Capacity Expansion and Pricing in an Oligopoly with Barometric Price Leadership: A Case Study of the Newsprint Industry in North America," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(3), pages 255-76, March.
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