Open Access Versus Traditional Journal Pricing: Using a Simple 'Platform Market' Model to Understand Which Will Win (and Which Should)

32 Pages Posted: 17 Jan 2013 Last revised: 20 Jan 2013

Mark J. McCabe

Boston University - Questrom School of Business; SKEMA Business School Sophia Antipolis Nice

Christopher M. Snyder

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics

Anna Fagin

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics

Date Written: November 2012

Abstract

Economists have built a theory to understand markets in which, rather than selling directly to buyers, suppliers sell through a platform, which controls prices on both sides. The theory has been applied to understand markets ranging from telephony, to credit cards, to media. In this paper, we apply the theory to the market for scholarly journals, with the journal functioning as the platform between submitting authors and subscribing readers. Our goal is to understand the conditions under which a journal would prefer open access to traditional pricing and under which open access would be better for the scholarly community. Our new model captures much of the richness of the existing economic literature on journal pricing, and indeed adds some fresh insights, yet is simple enough to be accessible to a broad audience.

Keywords: open access, journals, platform, competition, pricing

JEL Classification: D40, L31, L82

Suggested Citation

McCabe, Mark J. and Snyder, Christopher M. and Fagin, Anna, Open Access Versus Traditional Journal Pricing: Using a Simple 'Platform Market' Model to Understand Which Will Win (and Which Should) (November 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2201773 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2201773

Mark J. McCabe (Contact Author)

Boston University - Questrom School of Business ( email )

595 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA MA 02215
United States

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/markjmccabe1/home

SKEMA Business School Sophia Antipolis Nice ( email )

60 rue Dostoïevski
SKEMA Business School, Economics Department
Sophia Antipolis, 06902
France

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/markjmccabe1/home

Christopher M. Snyder

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics ( email )

301 Rockefeller Hall
Hanover, NH 03755
United States
(603) 646-0642 (Phone)
(603) 646-2122 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~csnyder/

Anna Fagin

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics ( email )

Hanover, NH 03755
United States

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