Dead Poets’ Property - Does Copyright Increase the Price of Content
Stanford University - Department of Economics
Boston University School of Management; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Stanford University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
January 1, 2014
This paper exploits a differential increase in copyright under the U.K. Copyright Act of 1814 – in favor of books by dead authors – to examine whether policies that strengthen copyrights increase the price of content. Contrary to existing results, difference-in-differences analyses, which compare changes in price after 1814 for books by dead and living authors, reveal a substantial increase in the price of content. By comparison, placebo regressions for books by dead authors that did not benefit from stronger copyrights indicate no differential price increase. Historical evidence points to intertemporal price discrimination as a mechanism by which stronger copyrights increase price.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 40
Keywords: copyright, intellectual property, literature, books, media, economic history, Britain
JEL Classification: O34, N0, L4, L51, L12, L82working papers series
Date posted: November 4, 2012 ; Last revised: January 2, 2014
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