Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1481272
 
 

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The Determinants of Music Piracy in a Sample of College Students


Marc F. Bellemare


University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Department of Applied Economics

Andrew M. Holmberg


US Department of Justice

May 20, 2010


Abstract:     
Why do some individuals pirate digital music while others pay for it? Using data on a sample of undergraduate students, we study the determinants of music piracy by looking at whether a respondent’s last song was obtained illegally or not. In doing so, we incorporate (i) the individual-specific transactions costs that constitute the effective price of illegal music; and (ii) individual willingness to pay (WTP) for digital music, which we elicit using a simple field experiment and which we use to control for the unobserved heterogeneity of preferences between respondents. Our empirical results indicate that a respondent’s subjective probability of facing a lawsuit and her degree of morality both have a negative impact on the likelihood that her last song was obtained illegally. These results are robust whether WTP is estimated parametrically or nonparametrically. We conclude by discussing the practical implications of our findings.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 40

Keywords: Music Piracy, Transactions Costs, Subjective Expectations

JEL Classification: D12, K11, K42, Z11

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Date posted: October 4, 2009 ; Last revised: May 20, 2010

Suggested Citation

Bellemare, Marc F. and Holmberg, Andrew M., The Determinants of Music Piracy in a Sample of College Students (May 20, 2010). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1481272 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1481272

Contact Information

Marc F. Bellemare (Contact Author)
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Department of Applied Economics ( email )
MN
United States
Andrew M. Holmberg
US Department of Justice ( email )
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001
United States
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