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When Pricing Below Marginal Cost Pays Off: Optimal Price Choice in a Media Market with Upfront Pricing

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  • Ulrich Kaiser

    (University of Southern Denmark)

Abstract

I derive a model of profit maximization for a print media firm with upfront advertising pricing. The model is estimated using detailed quarterly data on German women's magazines observed between I/1994 and IV/2004. Main empirical results are that (i) cover price increases lead to substantial reductions in advertising revenue, thereby offsetting possible corresponding gains in magazine sales revenue, (ii) magazines with particularly large advertising revenues per copy set cover prices well below marginal cost and (iii) marginal production cost are decreasing in a magazine's own circulation but are unaffected by the own publishers' total printing volume which does not provide evidence for an efficiency defense in print media mergers.

Suggested Citation

  • Ulrich Kaiser, 2007. "When Pricing Below Marginal Cost Pays Off: Optimal Price Choice in a Media Market with Upfront Pricing," CIE Discussion Papers 2007-05, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Industrial Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:kud:kuieci:2007-05
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    File URL: http://www.econ.ku.dk/cie/dp/dp_2010/2007-05.pdf/
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    Cited by:

    1. Elena Argentesi & Lapo Filistrucchi, 2007. "Estimating market power in a two-sided market: The case of newspapers," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(7), pages 1247-1266.
    2. Kaiser, Ulrich & Song, Minjae, 2009. "Do media consumers really dislike advertising? An empirical assessment of the role of advertising in print media markets," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 292-301, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    magazines; cost estimation; twosided markets;

    JEL classification:

    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models

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