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Who Benefits Whom in Daily Newspaper Markets?

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  • Lisa George
  • Joel Waldfogel

Abstract

Markets are generally thought to avoid problems, such as tyranny of the majority, that arise when allocation is accomplished through collective processes. Yet, with fixed costs, differentiated product markets deliver only products desired by substantial constituencies. When consumers share similar preferences, then additional consumers will bring forth additional products or improve the attributes or position of existing products and the consumers confer positive pecuniary preference externalities' on each other. However, if distinct groups of consumers have substantially different preferences, the groups can hurt each other through product markets. We document the pattern of preference externalities among black and white consumers of daily newspapers in the US. We find that, in their capacity as newspaper consumers, members of each group benefits themselves and either harm, or fail to benefit, each other through the product market. We document that product positioning provides the mechanism underlying our results. While Friedman (1962) argues that the use of political channels tends to strain the social cohesion essential for a stable society,' while, by contrast, widespread use of the market reduces the strain on the social fabric by rendering conformity unnecessary,' mounting evidence on media markets suggests otherwise.

Suggested Citation

  • Lisa George & Joel Waldfogel, 2000. "Who Benefits Whom in Daily Newspaper Markets?," NBER Working Papers 7944, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7944 Note: LE
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Simon P. Anderson & John McLaren, 2012. "Media Mergers And Media Bias With Rational Consumers," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 831-859, August.
    3. Guido De Blasio, 2005. "Production Or Consumption? Disentangling The Skill-Agglomeration Connection," ERSA conference papers ersa05p648, European Regional Science Association.
    4. Glazer, Amihai & Kondo, Hiroki, 2007. "Migration in search of good government," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 703-716, November.
    5. Steven Berry & Joel Waldfogel, 2003. "Product Quality and Market Size," NBER Working Papers 9675, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Lisa George & Joel Waldfogel, 2003. "Who Affects Whom in Daily Newspaper Markets?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(4), pages 765-784, August.
    7. Simon Loertscher & Gerd Muehlheusser, 2008. "Dynamic Location Games," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 1042, The University of Melbourne.
    8. Alberto Dalmazzo & Guido De Blasio, 2007. "Skill-Biased Agglomeration Effects and Amenities: Theory with an Application to Italian Cities," Department of Economics University of Siena 503, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
    9. Felix Oberholzer-Gee & Joel Waldfogel, 2009. "Media Markets and Localism: Does Local News en Español Boost Hispanic Voter Turnout?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(5), pages 2120-2128, December.
    10. Loertscher, Simon & Muehlheusser, Gerd, 2008. "Global and local players in a model of spatial competition," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 98(1), pages 100-106, January.
    11. Felix Oberholzer-Gee & Joel Waldfogel, 2001. "Electoral Acceleration: The Effect of Minority Population on Minority Voter Turnout," NBER Working Papers 8252, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Glazer, Amihai & Gradstein, Mark & Ranjan, Priya, 2003. "Consumption variety and urban agglomeration," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 653-661, October.
    13. Zhang, Wenhui & Shi, Guanming, 2012. "An Exploration of Product Choices in U.S. Biotech Corn Seed Market," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124758, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media

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