School of Business publications portal
This portal is no longer updated. Aalto University School of Business Master's Theses are now in the Aaltodoc publication archive (Aalto University institutional repository)
School of Business | Department of Economics | Economics | 2015
Thesis number: 14106
Increase of VAT on newspaper subscriptions: effects on the Finnish newspaper market
Author: Luostarinen, Alpo
Title: Increase of VAT on newspaper subscriptions: effects on the Finnish newspaper market
Year: 2015  Language: eng
Department: Department of Economics
Academic subject: Economics
Index terms: taloustieteet; economic science; media; media; kustannustoimi; publishing; sanomalehdet; newspapers; markkinat; markets; tilaukset; orders; arvonlisävero; value added tax; muutos; change; hinnat; prices
Pages: 51
Full text:
» hse_ethesis_14106.pdf pdf  size:2 MB (1191022)
Key terms: value added tax; newspaper; circulation; price elasticity

This study focuses on a tax policy change towards subscribed newspapers in the Finnish newspaper market. The Finnish government decided to increase the value added tax rate of subscribed newspapers from 0 % to 9 %, bringing the legislative changes into force in the beginning of 2012. In earlier research the price elasticity of newspaper demand has been observed to be highly inelastic. The objective of this study is to determine the effects of the 9 % VAT increase on the prices and circulations of subscribed newspapers and to determine whether the price elasticity of newspapers has increased due to the changing newspaper market.


The research is conducted with a difference-in-differences method with controlled individual fixed effects. The Finnish newspaper circulation development is analyzed with newspaper price and circulation panel data from periods 2006-2013 and controlled with corresponding data in the Norwegian market.


According to the results of the study, the 9 % VAT increase moved fully into newspaper subscription prices. As a result, newspaper circulations showed a 3,4 percent decrease compared to the control group and the newspapers' price elasticity of demand, 0,37, can be seen as highly inelastic. The findings correspond to an estimation in the government proposal as well as findings in previous studies.
Electronic publications are subject to copyright. The publications can be read freely and printed for personal use. Use for commercial purposes is forbidden.