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Market Provision of Public Goods: The Case of Broadcasting

Author

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  • Simon P. Anderson
  • Stephen Coate

Abstract

This paper studies the market provision of a specific type of public good: radio and television broadcasts. Its main focus is to explore the ability of the market to provide broadcasting efficiently in a world in which broadcasters earn revenues by selling time to advertisers and advertisements provide information to consumers about new products. The paper shows that market provided broadcasts may feature too few or too many commercials, depending on the relative sizes of their social benefit and their nuisance cost to viewers. In addition, the market may provide too few or too many types of programs, depending on the relative size of viewing benefits and the benefits to advertisers from contacting viewers. The possibility of both under and over-provision of advertisements and programming, means that there are ranges of the parameters for which the market provides broadcasting close to efficiently. The paper also considers whether the market performs better under monopoly or competition and studies how the ability to charge viewers subscription prices impacts market performance.

Suggested Citation

  • Simon P. Anderson & Stephen Coate, 2000. "Market Provision of Public Goods: The Case of Broadcasting," NBER Working Papers 7513, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7513
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Gene M. Grossman & Carl Shapiro, 1984. "Informative Advertising with Differentiated Products," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(1), pages 63-81.
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    7. Bergstrom, Theodore & Blume, Lawrence & Varian, Hal, 1986. "On the private provision of public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 25-49, February.
    8. Steven T. Berry & Joel Waldfogel, 1999. "Free Entry and Social Inefficiency in Radio Broadcasting," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(3), pages 397-420, Autumn.
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    10. Brown, Allan & Cave, Martin, 1992. "The Economics of Television Regulation: A Survey with Application to Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 68(203), pages 377-394, December.
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    13. Kihlstrom, Richard E & Riordan, Michael H, 1984. "Advertising as a Signal," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(3), pages 427-450, June.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

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