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The Pricing of Academic Journals: A Two-Sided Market Perspective

  • Doh-Shin Jeon
  • Jean-Charles Rochet

More and more academic journals are adopting an open access policy by which articles are accessible free of charge, while publication costs are recovered through author fees. We study the consequences of this open access policy on the quality standard of an electronic academic journal. If the journal's objective were to maximize social welfare, open access would be optimal. However, we show that if the journal has a different objective (such as maximizing readers' utility, the impact of the journal, or its profit), open access tends to induce it to choose a quality standard below the socially efficient level. (JEL L11, L82)

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/mic.2.2.222
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Microeconomics.

Volume (Year): 2 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 222-55

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmic:v:2:y:2010:i:2:p:222-55
Note: DOI: 10.1257/mic.2.2.222
Contact details of provider: Web page: https://www.aeaweb.org/aej-micro
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  1. Rochet, Jean-Charles & Tirole, Jean, 2003. "Platform Competition in Two-Sided Markets," IDEI Working Papers 152, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  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.
  3. Caillaud, Bernard & Jullien, Bruno, 2003. " Chicken & Egg: Competition among Intermediation Service Providers," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(2), pages 309-28, Summer.
  4. repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:3:p:720-737 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Jean‐Charles Rochet & Jean Tirole, 2006. "Two‐sided markets: a progress report," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(3), pages 645-667, 09.
  6. Mark McCabe, 2004. "Information goods and endogenous pricing strategies: the case of academic journals," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 12(10), pages 1-11.
  7. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:12:y:2004:i:10:p:1-11 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. 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.
  9. Mark Armstrong, 2005. "Competition in Two-Sided Markets," Industrial Organization 0505009, EconWPA.
  10. Doh-Shin Jeon & Domenico Menicucci, 2005. "Bundling Electronic Journals and Competition among Publishers," Working Papers 270, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  11. Mathias Dewatripont & Victor Ginsburgh & Patrick Legros & Alexis Walckiers & Jean-Pierre Devroey & Marianne Dujardin & Françoise Vandooren & Pierre Dubois & Jérôme Foncel & Marc Ivaldi & Marie-Dominiq, 2006. "Study on the economic and technical evolution of the scientific publication markets in Europe," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9545, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  12. 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.
  13. repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:3:p:668-691 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:3:p:645-667 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Armstrong, Mark, 2008. "Collection sales: good or bad for journals?," MPRA Paper 8619, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  16. Simon P. Anderson & Stephen Coate, 2003. "Market Provision of Broadcasting: A Welfare Analysis," Virginia Economics Online Papers 358, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
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