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This paper uses detailed weekly data on sales of hardcover fiction books to evaluate the impact of the New York Times bestseller list on sales and product variety. In order to circumvent the obvious problem of simultaneity of sales and bestseller status, the analysis exploits time lags and accidental omissions in the construction of the list. The empirical results indicate that appearing on the list leads to a modest increase in sales for the average book, and that the effect is more dramatic for bestsellers by debut authors. The paper discusses how the additional concentration of demand on top-selling books could lead to a reduction in the privately optimal number of books to publish. However, the data suggest the opposite is true: the market expansion effect of bestseller lists appears to dominate any business stealing from non-bestselling titles. Copyright 2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd..

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  • Alan T. Sorensen, 2007. "BESTSELLER LISTS AND PRODUCT VARIETY -super-," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(4), pages 715-738, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jindec:v:55:y:2007:i:4:p:715-738

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Blundell, Richard & Bond, Stephen, 1998. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 115-143, August.
    2. Richard Blundell & Stephen Bond, 2000. "GMM Estimation with persistent panel data: an application to production functions," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(3), pages 321-340.
    3. Aigner, Dennis & Lovell, C. A. Knox & Schmidt, Peter, 1977. "Formulation and estimation of stochastic frontier production function models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 21-37, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Armstrong, Mark, 2016. "Ordered Consumer Search," MPRA Paper 72194, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Beck, Jonathan, 2008. "Diderot´s rule," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Competition and Innovation SP II 2008-13, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    3. Luca Aguzzoni & Elena Argentesi & Lorenzo Ciari & Tomaso Duso & Massimo Tognoni, 2016. "Ex post Merger Evaluation in the U.K. Retail Market for Books," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(1), pages 170-200, March.
    4. Helmers, Christian & Krishnan, Pramila & Patnam, Manasa, 2015. "Attention and Saliency on the Internet: Evidence from an Online Recommendation System," CEPR Discussion Papers 10939, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Laurent Bouton, 2011. "Good rankings are bad - Why reliable rankings can hurt consumers," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2011-002, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    6. Craig L. Garthwaite, 2012. "You Get a Book! Demand Spillovers, Combative Advertising, and Celebrity Endorsements," NBER Working Papers 17915, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Trilce Navarrete & Karol J. Borowiecki, 2015. "Change in access after digitization: Ethnographic collections in Wikipedia," ACEI Working Paper Series AWP-10-2015, Association for Cultural Economics International, revised Oct 2015.
    8. Blomkvist, Katarina & Kappen, Philip & Zander, Ivo, 2014. "Superstar inventors—Towards a people-centric perspective on the geography of technological renewal in the multinational corporation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 669-682.
    9. Pope, Devin G., 2009. "Reacting to rankings: Evidence from "America's Best Hospitals"," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 1154-1165, December.
    10. Nataliya Kochkina & Evgeniya Popova, 2017. "Are Books Luxury Goods in Russia or not?," ACEI Working Paper Series AWP-06-2017, Association for Cultural Economics International, revised Jul 2017.
    11. Ken Hendricks & Alan Sorensen, 2009. "Information and the Skewness of Music Sales," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(2), pages 324-369, April.
    12. Ohio University & Department of Economics & Hailey Hayeon Joo, 2009. "Social Learning and Optimal Advertising in the Motion Picture Industry," 2009 Meeting Papers 513, Society for Economic Dynamics.

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