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Movie piracy and sales displacement in two samples of Chinese consumers

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  • Bai, Jie
  • Waldfogel, Joel

Abstract

Intellectual property piracy is widely believed, by authorities in both US industry and government, to be rampant in China. Because we lack evidence on the rate at which unpaid consumption displaces paid consumption, we know little about the size of the effect of pirate consumption on the volume of paid consumption. We provide direct evidence on both the volume of unpaid consumption and the rate of sales displacement for movies in China using two surveys administered in late 2008 and mid-2009. First, using a survey of Chinese college students’ movie consumption and an empirical approach parallel to a similar recent study of US college students, we find that three quarters of movie consumption is unpaid and that each instance of unpaid consumption displaces 0.14 paid consumption instances. Second, a survey of online Chinese consumers reveals similar patterns of paid and unpaid movie consumption but a displacement rate of roughly zero. We speculate on the small displacement rate finding relative to most of the piracy literature.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Information Economics and Policy.

Volume (Year): 24 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 187-196

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Handle: RePEc:eee:iepoli:v:24:y:2012:i:3:p:187-196

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505549

Related research

Keywords: Music piracy; Intellectual property; Copyright; China;

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References

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  1. Varian, Hal R, 2000. "Buying, Sharing and Renting Information Goods," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(4), pages 473-88, December.
  2. Felix Oberholzer-Gee & Koleman Strumpf, 2007. "The Effect of File Sharing on Record Sales: An Empirical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 1-42.
  3. Rafael Rob & Joel Waldfogel, 2004. "Piracy on the High C's: Music Downloading, Sales Displacement, and Social Welfare in a Sample of College Students," NBER Working Papers 10874, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Liebowitz, Stan J, 2006. "File Sharing: Creative Destruction or Just Plain Destruction?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(1), pages 1-28, April.
  5. Bakos, Yannis & Brynjolfsson, Erik & Lichtman, Douglas, 1999. "Shared Information Goods," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 42(1), pages 117-55, April.
  6. Waldfogel, Joel, 2010. "Music file sharing and sales displacement in the iTunes era," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 306-314, December.
  7. Hong, Seung-Hyun, 2007. "The recent growth of the internet and changes in household-level demand for entertainment," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(3-4), pages 304-318, October.
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