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Optimal Pricing and Quality of Academic Journals and the Ambiguous Welfare Effects of Forced Open Access: A Two-sided Model

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  • Mueller-Langer, Frank
  • Watt, Richard

Abstract

We analyse optimal pricing and quality of a monopolistic journal and the optimality of open access in a two-sided model. The predominant aspect of the model that determines the quality levels at which open access is optimal is the nature of the (non-linear) externalities between readers and authors in a journal. We show that there exist scenarios in which open access is a feature of high-quality journals. Besides, we find that the removal of copyright (and thus forced open access) will likely increase both readership and authorship, will decrease journal profits, and may increase social welfare.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Munich, Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers in Economics with number 16277.

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Date of creation: 21 Aug 2013
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Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenec:16277

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Keywords: Two-sided markets; academic journals; open access; removal of copyright; welfare effects;

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  1. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:12:y:2004:i:10:p:1-11 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Ted Bergstrom, 2001. "Free Labor for Costly Journals?," Microeconomics, EconWPA 0106002, EconWPA.
  3. Glenn Ellison, 2000. "The Slowdown of the Economics Publishing Process," NBER Working Papers 7804, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Müller-Langer, Frank & Watt, Richard, 2010. "Copyright and Open Access for Academic Works," MPRA Paper 24095, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. 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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  8. Mark McCabe, 2004. "Information goods and endogenous pricing strategies: the case of academic journals," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 12(10), pages 1-11.
  9. Heintzelman Martin & Nocetti Diego, 2009. "Where Should we Submit our Manuscript? An Analysis of Journal Submission Strategies," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-28, September.
  10. Marc Rysman, 2009. "The Economics of Two-Sided Markets," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(3), pages 125-43, Summer.
  11. 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.
  12. Doh-Shin Jeon & Domenico Menicucci, 2005. "Bundling Electronic Journals and Competition among Publishers," Working Papers 270, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  13. Mark J. McCabe & Christopher M. Snyder, 2005. "Open Access and Academic Journal Quality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 453-459, May.
  14. repec:fth:calaec:16-01 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:3:p:668-691 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Oster, Sharon, 1980. "The Optimal Order for Submitting Manuscripts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 444-48, June.
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