Effects of Copyrights on Science: Evidence from the US Book Republication Program
76 Pages Posted: 26 Dec 2014 Last revised: 16 Sep 2017
Date Written: September 14, 2017
This paper exploits a change in copyright laws under the WWII Book Republication Program (BRP) to examine the effects of copyrights on science. Under the BRP, the price of German-owned science books declined by an average of 25 percent. Using two complementary identification strategies, we show that each 10 percent decline in price was associated with a 43 percent increase in citations. Lower prices increased citations by helping to distribute BRP books across US libraries, including less affluent institutions. Results are confirmed by two alternative measures of scientific output: new PhDs and US patents that use knowledge in BRP books.
Keywords: Copyright, Science, Media, World War II
JEL Classification: O34, L82, N42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation