Dead Poets’ Property - How Does Copyright Influence Price?
Boston University School of Management; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Leonard N. Stern School of Business - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
October 13, 2016
This article exploits a differential increase in copyright length under the UK Copyright Act of 1814 - in favor of books by dead authors – to examine the effects of longer copyright terms on price. Difference-in-differences analyses, which compare changes in the price of books by dead and living authors, indicate a 50 percent increase in price in response to doubling of copyright length. By comparison, placebo regressions for books by dead authors that did not benefit from the extension indicate no differential increase. Historical evidence suggests that longer copyrights increase price by improving publishers’ ability to practice intertemporal price discrimination.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 66
Keywords: copyright, creativity, innovation, information goods, price discrimination.
JEL Classification: O3, K00, N33
Date posted: November 4, 2012 ; Last revised: October 15, 2016