Public radio in the United States: Does it correct market failure or cannibalize commercial stations?

Steven T. Berry, Joel Waldfogel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations

Abstract

Because broadcasters can capture only part of the value of their product as revenue, there is the potential for a classic problem of underprovision. Whether public support corrects a market failure depends on whether the market would have provided similar services in the absence of public broadcasting. We address these questions by asking whether public and commercial classical stations compete for listening share and revenue as well as whether public stations crowd out commercial stations. We find evidence that public broadcasting crowds out commercial programming in large markets, particularly in classical music and to a lesser extent in jazz.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-211
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Public Economics
Volume71
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 1999

Keywords

  • Crowding out
  • Entry
  • H41
  • L33
  • L82
  • Market failure
  • Public goods
  • Public radio

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