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Newspaper Differentiation and Investments in Journalism: The Role of Tax Policy

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Abstract

Many countries levy reduced-rate indirect taxes on newspapers, with proclaimed policy goals of stimulating investment in journalism and ensuring low newspaper prices. However, by taking into account the fact that the media industry operates in two-sided markets, we find the paradoxical result that the consequences of a low-tax regime might be quite the opposite; low investments and high prices. We also show that the low-tax regime tends to increase newspaper differentiation. If the advertising market is relatively small, the newspapers might invest too little in journalism and be too differentiated from a social point of view. In this case a tax increase will be welfare-enhancing.

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  • Kind, Hans Jarle & Schjelderup, Guttorm & Stähler, Frank, 2011. "Newspaper Differentiation and Investments in Journalism: The Role of Tax Policy," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 16/2011, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:nhheco:2011_016
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    Cited by:

    1. Anderson, Simon P. & Foros, Øystein & Kind, Hans Jarle, 2012. "Product quality, competition, and multi-purchasing," Discussion Papers 2012/9, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Business and Management Science.
    2. Paul Belleflamme & Eric Toulemonde, 2016. "Tax Incidence on Competing Two-Sided Platforms: Lucky Break or Double Jeopardy," CESifo Working Paper Series 5882, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:5:p:734-:d:97388 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro & Michael Sinkinson, 2014. "Competition and Ideological Diversity: Historical Evidence from US Newspapers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(10), pages 3073-3114, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Two-sided markets; ad-valorem taxes.;

    JEL classification:

    • D04 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Policy: Formulation; Implementation; Evaluation
    • 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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