Essays on industrial organisation

A stack of newspapers
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PhD Defense

2 April 2020 13:43

Essays on industrial organisation

On Friday 17 April 2020 Timothy Wyndham will hold a trial lecture on a prescribed topic and defend his thesis for the PhD degree at NHH.

This dissertation examines the implications of changes in technology and government regulations in two important markets: the market for news (ch. 2, 3 and 5) and the market for alcohol (ch. 4).

The first chapter provides an introduction and overview of the thesis.

The second chapter, published in the International Journal of Industrial Organisation, shows that a VAT decrease at a digital newspaper leads it to charge a higher price from the readers.  The intuition for this surprising result hinges on the fact that the newspaper operates in a two-sided market, and that it will put more emphasis on raising revenue from the reader market than from the advertising market when the VAT falls.

The third chapter, published in European State Aid Quarterly, describes and applies the findings of the second chapter and associated literature to argue that the European Free Trade Area Surveillance Authority (ESA) were incorrect when they accepted that Norway’s reduction of the VAT rate on digital newspapers was compatible with the single market.

The fourth chapter uses the recent increase in the number of outlets for Vinmonopolet to examine the relationship between alcohol consumption and sick leave. Our core finding is that an increase in alcohol consumption of 1 percent leads to an increase of sick leave of around 0.16 percent, at the mean.

The fifth chapter returns to the market for newspapers and investigates the impact of digital newspapers imposing paywalls on news consumption. This is a central question for digital newspapers, as they need to carefully weigh the increased revenue from charging readers for news against lost advertising revenues if they receive fewer views. When newspapers introduce a paywall we find that short run consumption of news falls by 3-4 percent, and continues to fall by between 9-11 percent in the long run.


12:15 (Zoom videokonferanse, NHH)

Members of the evaluation committee:

Associate Professor Sissel Jensen (leader of the committee), Department of Economics, NHH

Professor Jan Yngve Sand, UIT  

Professor Richard Friberg, SEE


Professor Hans Jarle Kind (main supervisor), Department of Economics, NHH

Professor Marko Koethenbuerger, ETH Zürich