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Effects of Copyrights on Science: Evidence from the US Book Republication Program

76 Pages Posted: 26 Dec 2014 Last revised: 16 Sep 2017

Barbara Biasi

Princeton University

Petra Moser

Leonard N. Stern School of Business - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: September 14, 2017

Abstract

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

Biasi, Barbara and Moser, Petra, Effects of Copyrights on Science: Evidence from the US Book Republication Program (September 14, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2542879 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2542879

Barbara Biasi

Princeton University ( email )

22 Chambers Street
Princeton, NJ 08544
United States

HOME PAGE: http://barbarabiasi.weebly.com

Petra Moser (Contact Author)

Leonard N. Stern School of Business - Department of Economics ( email )

269 Mercer Street
New York, NY 10003
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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