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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. 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.
  2. 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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  5. repec:fth:calaec:16-01 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Doh-Shin Jeon & Jean-Charles Rochet, 2007. "The pricing of academic journals: A two-sided market perspective," Economics Working Papers 1025, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Apr 2009.
  7. 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.
  8. Bergstrom, Ted, 2001. "Free Labor for Costly Journals?," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt5jc0893p, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  9. Müller-Langer, Frank & Watt, Richard, 2010. "Copyright and Open Access for Academic Works," MPRA Paper 24095, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. 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.
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  12. Glenn Ellison, 2000. "The Slowdown of the Economics Publishing Process," NBER Working Papers 7804, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  15. Oster, Sharon, 1980. "The Optimal Order for Submitting Manuscripts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 444-48, June.
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  17. Marc Rysman, 2009. "The Economics of Two-Sided Markets," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(3), pages 125-43, Summer.
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