Assessing the Effects of Increased Internet Adoption on Global Paper Based Media Markets.

Screen Shot 2016-01-14 at 11.17.47 AMThe demand for paper products has received considerable attention in recent years as we continue to observe declining demand for newsprint and printed materials after decades of growth (see Fig. 1). The Internet, together with other technological advances, have provided an electronic substitute to newspapers and printed materials. During the 1990’s, the demand for paper in communication was thought to be independent of these electronic substitutes (e.g. Miller Freeman inc. 1995, p. 146; Zhang & Buongiorno 1997). In more recent years, however, there is increasing evidence that a structural shift has occurred in communication consumption patterns (Hetemäki & Obsersteiner 2001; Hetemaki 2005, 2008; Szabo et al. 2009), as preferences have shifted away from paper products and toward electronic media as populations adopt the Internet (Hujala 2011; Latta et al. 2015). Failure to account for this shift in preferences is likely to bias estimates of the evolution of the paper products industry.