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The Pricing of Academic Journals: A Two-Sided Market Perspective

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  • Doh-Shin Jeon
  • Jean-Charles Rochet

Abstract

More and more academic journals are adopting an open access policy by which articles are accessible free of charge, while publication costs are recovered through author fees. We study the consequences of this open access policy on the quality standard of an electronic academic journal. If the journal's objective were to maximize social welfare, open access would be optimal. However, we show that if the journal has a different objective (such as maximizing readers' utility, the impact of the journal, or its profit), open access tends to induce it to choose a quality standard below the socially efficient level. (JEL L11, L82)

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/mic.2.2.222
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Microeconomics.

Volume (Year): 2 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 222-55

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmic:v:2:y:2010:i:2:p:222-55

Note: DOI: 10.1257/mic.2.2.222
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References

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  1. domenico menicucci & doh-shin jeon, 2004. "bundling electronic journals and competition among publishers," Econometric Society 2004 Far Eastern Meetings 720, Econometric Society.
  2. Simon P. Anderson & Stephen Coate, 2003. "Market Provision of Broadcasting: A Welfare Analysis," Virginia Economics Online Papers 358, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
  3. Mark Armstrong, 2010. "Collection Sales: Good Or Bad For Journals?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 48(1), pages 163-176, 01.
  4. Mark McCabe, 2004. "Information goods and endogenous pricing strategies: the case of academic journals," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 12(10), pages 1-11.
  5. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:12:y:2004:i:10:p:1-11 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Mathias Dewatripont & Victor Ginsburgh & Patrick Legros & Alexis Walckiers & Jean-Pierre Devroey & Marianne Dujardin & Françoise Vandooren & Pierre Dubois & Jérôme Foncel & Marc Ivaldi & Marie-Domi, 2006. "Study on the economic and technical evolution of the scientific publication markets in Europe," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9545, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  7. Jean-Charles Rochet & Jean Triole, 2002. "Platform Competition in Two Sided Markets," FMG Discussion Papers dp409, Financial Markets Group.
  8. Mark J. McCabe & Christopher M. Snyder, 2005. "Open Access and Academic Journal Quality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 453-459, May.
  9. repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:3:p:645-667 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Mark McCabe & Christopher Snyder, 2004. "The Economics of Open-Access Journals," Working Papers 04-18, NET Institute, revised Nov 2004.
  11. repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:3:p:720-737 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. McCabe Mark J & Snyder Christopher M., 2007. "Academic Journal Prices in a Digital Age: A Two-Sided Market Model," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-39, January.
  13. repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:3:p:668-691 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Jean-Charles Rochet & Jean Tirole, 2002. "Cooperation Among Competitors: Some Economics Of Payment Card Associations," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(4), pages 549-570, Winter.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Mueller-Langer, Frank & Watt, Richard, 2012. "Optimal pricing and quality of academic journals and the ambiguous welfare effects of forced open access: a two-sided model," MPRA Paper 40191, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Doh-Shin Jeon & Nikrooz Nasr Esfahani, 2012. "News Aggregators and Competition Among Newspapers in the Internet," Working Papers 12-20, NET Institute.
  3. Gaulé, Patrick & Maystre, Nicolas, 2011. "Getting cited: Does open access help?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(10), pages 1332-1338.
    • Patrick Gaulé & Nicolas Maystre, 2008. "Getting cited: does open access help?," CEMI Working Papers cemi-workingpaper-2008-00, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Collège du Management de la Technologie, Management of Technology and Entrepreneurship Institute, Chaire en Economie et Management de l'Innovation.
  4. Andre Veiga & E. Glen Weyl, 2011. "Multidimensional Heterogeneity and Platform Design," Working Papers 11-33, NET Institute, revised Nov 2011.
  5. Emmanuel Farhi & Josh Lerner & Jean Tirole, 2008. "Fear of Rejection? Tiered Certification and Transparency," NBER Working Papers 14457, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Armstrong, Mark, 2008. "Collection sales: good or bad for journals?," MPRA Paper 8619, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Armstrong, Mark, 2014. "Opening Access to Research," MPRA Paper 55488, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Jeon, Doh-Shin & Menicucci, Domenico, 2013. "When Is Building a Library Consortium Bene cial?," TSE Working Papers 13-425, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE), revised 07 Apr 2014.
  9. Ponce, Jorge, 2012. "The quality of credit ratings: A two-sided market perspective," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 294-306.
  10. Dubois, P. & Hernandez Perez, A. & Ivaldi, M., 2006. "Academic journals as two-sided platforms : empirical evidence from data on french libraries," Economics Working Paper Archive (Toulouse) 200606, French Institute for Agronomy Research (INRA), Economics Laboratory in Toulouse (ESR Toulouse).
  11. repec:tse:wpaper:27725 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Besancenot, Damien & Vranceanu, Radu, 2014. "A model of scholarly publishing with hybrid academic journals," ESSEC Working Papers WP1406, ESSEC Research Center, ESSEC Business School.
  13. Roberto Bombana & Carla Marchese, 2014. "Designing fees for music copyright holders in radio services," ECONOMIA E POLITICA INDUSTRIALE, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2014(2), pages 5-19.
  14. Batiz-Lazo, Bernardo & Krichel, Thomas, 2010. "The creation of internet communities: A brief history of on-line distribution of working papers through NEP, 1998-2010," MPRA Paper 27085, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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