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The Economics of Books

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  • Canoy, Marcel
  • van Ours, Jan C.
  • van der Ploeg, Frederick

Abstract

This chapter analyses the tensions between books and book markets as expressions of culture and books as products in profit-making businesses and includes insights from the theory of industrial organisation. Governments intervene in the market for books through laws concerning prices of books, grants for authors and publishers, a lower value-added tax, public libraries and education in order to stimulate the diversity of books on offer, increase the density of retail outlets and promote reading. An overview of the different ways by which countries differ in terms of market structures and government policies is given. Particular attention is paid to retail price maintenance. Due to differences between European countries it is not a good idea to harmonise European book policies. Our analysis suggests that the book market seems quite able to invent solutions to specific problems of the book trade and that, apart from promoting reading, there is little need for government intervention.

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This chapter was published in:

  • V.A. Ginsburgh & D. Throsby (ed.), 2006. "Handbook of the Economics of Art and Culture," Handbook of the Economics of Art and Culture, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 1, number 1, December.
    This item is provided by Elsevier in its series Handbook of the Economics of Art and Culture with number 1-21.

    Handle: RePEc:eee:artchp:1-21

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/bookseriesdescription.cws_home/BS_HE/description

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    1. van der Ploeg, Frederick, 2006. "The Making of Cultural Policy: A European Perspective," Handbook of the Economics of Art and Culture, Elsevier.
    2. Chr. Hjorth-Andersen, 2000. "A Model of the Danish Book Market," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 27-43, February.
    3. Akerlof, George A, 1970. "The Market for 'Lemons': Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500, August.
    4. Frederick van der Ploeg, 2003. "Beyond the Dogma of the Fixed Book Price Agreement," CESifo Working Paper Series 949, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 2000. "International Data on Educational Attainment: Updates and Implications," CID Working Papers 42, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    6. Holahan, William L., 1979. "A theoretical analysis of resale price maintenance," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 411-420, December.
    7. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1975. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 64, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    8. Landes, William M & Posner, Richard A, 1989. "An Economic Analysis of Copyright Law," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(2), pages 325-63, June.
    9. Deneckere, Raymond & Marvel, Howard P & Peck, James, 1997. "Demand Uncertainty and Price Maintenance: Markdowns as Destructive Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 619-41, September.
    10. Ottaviano, Gianmarco Ireo Paolo & Thisse, Jacques-François, 1999. "Monopolistic Competition, Multiproduct Firms and Optimum Product Diversity," CEPR Discussion Papers 2151, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "The Economics of Superstars," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 845-58, December.
    12. S. Bertarelli & R. Censolo, 2000. "Preference for Novelty and Price Behaviour," Working Papers 383, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    13. Simon Latcovich & Howard Smith, 2001. "Pricing, Sunk Costs, and Market Structure Online: Evidence from," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(2), pages 217-234, Summer.
    14. François Ecalle, 1988. "Une évaluation de la loi du 10 août 1981 relative au prix du livre," Économie et Prévision, Programme National Persée, vol. 86(5), pages 17-49.
    15. Howard P. Marvel & Stephen McCafferty, 1984. "Resale Price Maintenance and Quality Certification," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(3), pages 346-359, Autumn.
    16. Clerides, Sofronis K., 2002. "Book value: intertemporal pricing and quality discrimination in the US market for books," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 20(10), pages 1385-1408, December.
    17. Frank Mathewson & Ralph Winter, 1998. "The Law and Economics of Resale Price Maintenance," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 57-84, April.
    18. repec:fth:louvco:9919 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Austan Goolsbee & Judith Chevalier, 2002. "Measuring Prices and Price Competition Online: Amazon and Barnes and Noble," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm290, Yale School of Management, revised 12 Sep 2008.
    20. Throsby,David, 2000. "Economics and Culture," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521584067, April.
    21. Salop, Steven & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Bargains and Ripoffs: A Model of Monopolistically Competitive Price Dispersion," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(3), pages 493-510, October.
    22. Ours, J. C. van, 1990. "Nederlandse boekenmarkt tussen stabiliteit en verandering," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-153370, Tilburg University.
    23. Yetkiner, I. Hakan & Horvath, Csilla, 2000. "Macroeconomic implications of virtual shopping : a theoretical approach," CCSO Working Papers 200004, University of Groningen, CCSO Centre for Economic Research.
    24. Foster, James E. & Horowitz, Andrew W., 1996. "Complimentarily yours: Free examination copies and textbook prices," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 85-99.
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    1. Ali naj država rešuje Revijo 2000?
      by andee in V krizi smisla tiči misel on 2010-06-18 22:13:15
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    Cited by:
    1. Edoardo Gaffeo & Antonello E. Scorci & Laura Vici, 2008. "Demand Distribution Dynamics in Creative Industries: the Market for Books in Italy," Department of Economics Working Papers 0804, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
    2. Kalb, Guyonne & van Ours, Jan C., 2014. "Reading to young children: A head-start in life?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 1-24.
    3. Françoise Benhamou & Stéphanie Peltier, 2007. "How should cultural diversity be measured? An application using the French publishing industry," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 31(2), pages 85-107, June.
    4. Pérona, Mathieu & Pouyet, Jérôme, 2010. "Le prix unique du livre à l'heure numérique," Opuscules du CEPREMAP, CEPREMAP, number 19, May.
    5. Jonathan Beck, 2006. "The Sales Effect of Word of Mouth: A Model for Creative Goods and Estimates for Novels," CIG Working Papers SP II 2006-16, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
    6. Ours, J.C. van, 2006. "Children Reading Fiction Books Because They Want To," Discussion Paper 2006-3, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    7. van Ours, Jan C, 2006. "Children Reading Fiction Books Because They Want To," CEPR Discussion Papers 5472, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Fernández Blanco, Víctor & Prieto Rodríguez,Juan, 2009. "Análisis de los hábitos de lectura como una decisión económica/," Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, vol. 27, pages 113-138, Abril.
    9. John Ashworth & Bruno Heyndels & Kristien Werck, 2010. "Expert judgements and the demand for novels in Flanders," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 34(3), pages 197-218, August.
    10. Perona, Mathieu, 2009. "Bookshop, blockbusters and readers’ tastes: a new appraisal of the fixed book price," MPRA Paper 17857, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Juan Jiménez & Javier Campos, 2010. "Modelling Competition in the Textbook Market: Some Lessons still to Learn," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 71-85, March.
    12. Villarroya, Anna & Escardíbul, Josep-Oriol, 2010. "La demanda de libros y publicaciones periódicas en España/The Demand for Books and Periodicals in Spain," Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, vol. 28, pages 195 (22 pá, Abril.
    13. repec:pra:mprapa:40306 is not listed on IDEAS

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