Prices and Network Effects in Two-Sided Markets: The Belgian Newspaper Industry
36 Pages Posted: 14 May 2009 Last revised: 29 May 2009
Date Written: February 26, 2009
This paper investigates the two-sided nature of the newspaper industry. We explicitly take into account cross network effects that exist between advertisers and newspaper readers. On one side, advertisers' demand for publicity space depends on the number of newspaper readers and their characteristics. On the other side, readers' demand can be, positively or negatively, influenced by the number of advertisements. In addition, editors may own several newspapers and hence a variety of cross-market effects that result from changes in market prices exist. To estimate demand parameters for both sides of the market, a specific structural model is needed that takes into account those effects. We estimate network effects and price elasticities for Belgian newspaper publishers to assess market power and the degree of competition in the market, which experienced a large consolidation wave over the last decades. This allows us to evaluate a recent merger in the Belgian newspaper industry.
Keywords: two-sided markets, newspapers, demand estimation
JEL Classification: L11, L82, C23
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation