Is Software Piracy a Middle Class Crime? Investigating the Inequality-Piracy Channel

University of St. Gallen Economics Discussion Paper No. 2005-18

45 Pages Posted: 27 Sep 2005

See all articles by Justina A. V. Fischer

Justina A. V. Fischer

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD); Stockholm School of Economics; University of Hohenheim

Antonio Rodriquez Andrés

University of Southern Denmark

Date Written: August 2005

Abstract

This paper uses a sample of 71 countries in a cross-country context to empirically analyze the relationship between income distribution and software piracy rates. It measures income inequality by the Gini coefficient and alternatively by quintile shares. This analysis remedies previous econometric studies by controlling for a wide range of factors that potentially influence national piracy rates and employing an instrumental variables approach. Results indicate that income inequality is negatively associated with piracy rates but also that the impact of various income classes on piracy rates may depend on the geographic region where a country is located. Moreover, the model predicts an inverted U-shaped relationship between piracy and per capita income and reveals an apparent inverse relationship between individualism and software piracy. In addition, the results seem robust to the inclusion of additional covariants often employed in predicting piracy rates and the occurrence of property crime.

Keywords: Intellectual property rights, software piracy, income inequality, economics of crime

JEL Classification: K42, K11, D3

Suggested Citation

Fischer, Justina A.V. and Rodriquez Andrés, Antonio, Is Software Piracy a Middle Class Crime? Investigating the Inequality-Piracy Channel (August 2005). University of St. Gallen Economics Discussion Paper No. 2005-18. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=803244 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.803244

Justina A.V. Fischer (Contact Author)

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) ( email )

2 rue Andre Pascal
Paris Cedex 16, 75775
France

Stockholm School of Economics

PO Box 6501
Stockholm, 11383
Sweden

University of Hohenheim

Fruwirthstr. 48
Stuttgart, 70599
Germany

Antonio Rodriquez Andrés

University of Southern Denmark ( email )

Campusvej 55
DK-5230 Odense M
Denmark

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