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The Economics of Books

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

Abstract

The tensions between books and book markets as expressions of culture and books as products in profit-making businesses are analysed and insights from the theory of industrial organisation are given. 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 to 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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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 4892.

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Date of creation: Feb 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4892

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Keywords: authors; books; diversity; internet; libraries; monopolistic competition; publishers; retail price maintenance; subsidies;

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References

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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Ali naj država rešuje Revijo 2000?
    by andee in V krizi smisla tiči misel on 2010-06-18 22:13:15
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
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Cited by:
  1. Kalb, G. & Ours, J.C. van, 2013. "Reading to Young Children: A Head-Start in Life?," Discussion Paper 2013-029, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  2. Gaffeo, Edoardo & Scorcu, Antonello E. & Vici, Laura, 2008. "Demand distribution dynamics in creative industries: The market for books in Italy," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 257-268, September.
  3. 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.
  4. Perona, Mathieu, 2009. "Bookshop, blockbusters and readers’ tastes: a new appraisal of the fixed book price," MPRA Paper 17857, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Ours, J.C. van, 2006. "Children Reading Fiction Books Because They Want To," Discussion Paper 2006-3, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. repec:pra:mprapa:40306 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Pérona, Mathieu & Pouyet, Jérôme, 2010. "Le prix unique du livre à l'heure numérique," Opuscules du CEPREMAP, CEPREMAP, number 19, May.
  12. 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).
  13. van Ours, Jan C, 2006. "Children Reading Fiction Books Because They Want To," CEPR Discussion Papers 5472, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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