IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Old Media Policy Failures, New Media Policy Challenges

  • Bruce Owen


    (Stanford University)

This paper deals with two related subjects. The first is the failure of economic analysis to trigger elimination of welfare-reducing public policies affecting the older mass media technologies, such as broadcasting. The second is some speculation about policy issues that may continue or arise in the future given the technical characteristics of the new broadband media, combined with advances in social psychology, neuroscience and behavioral economics. I draw two principal conclusions. First, the failure of economic analysis to stimulate fundamental reform of media regulation is largely due to the fact that policy makers have greater incentives to focus on the allocation of economic rents among interest groups than to promote consumer welfare. Second, it is clear that IP-based technology is replacing old media such as newspapers and broadcast stations. The technology has the potential to greatly enhance competition and diversity, and to reduce the cost of access by consumers and suppliers to each other. However, regulation is not likely to be reduced, because a whole new rationale for media regulation is being developed. The new rational will be a market failure—adverse welfare effects of competitive media content responsive to consumers’ cognitive impairments.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research in its series Discussion Papers with number 08-038.

in new window

Date of creation: Jun 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:sip:dpaper:08-038
Contact details of provider: Postal: 366 Galvez Street, Stanford, California 94305-6015
Phone: (650) 725-1874
Fax: (650) 723-8611
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Riccardo Puglisi & James M. Snyder, Jr., 2008. "Media Coverage of Political Scandals," NBER Working Papers 14598, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. François Salanié & Nicolas Treich, 2009. "Regulation in Happyville," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(537), pages 665-679, 04.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sip:dpaper:08-038. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Anne Shor)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.