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Academic Journal Prices in a Digital Age: A Two-Sided Market Model


  • McCabe Mark J

    () (Georgia Institute of Technology)

  • Snyder Christopher M.

    () (Dartmouth College)


Digital-age technologies promise to revolutionize the market for academic journals as they have other media. We model journals as intermediaries linking authors with readers in a two-sided market. We use the model to study the division of fees between authors and readers under various market structures, ranging from monopoly to free entry. The results help explain why print journals traditionally obtained most of their revenue from subscription fees. The results raise the possibility that digitization may lead to a proliferation of online journals targeting various author types. The paper contributes to the literature on two-sided markets in its analysis of free-entry equilibrium and modeling of product-quality certification.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:7:y:2007:i:1:n:2

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. repec:cup:apsrev:v:68:y:1974:i:02:p:707-716_11 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Mueller-Langer, Frank & Watt, Richard, 2012. "Optimal pricing and quality of academic journals and the ambiguous welfare effects of forced open access: a two-sided model," MPRA Paper 40191, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Emmanuel Farhi & Josh Lerner & Jean Tirole, 2013. "Fear of rejection? Tiered certification and transparency," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 44(4), pages 610-631, December.
    3. Doh-Shin Jeon & Jean-Charles Rochet, 2010. "The Pricing of Academic Journals: A Two-Sided Market Perspective," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 222-255, May.
    4. Damien Besancenot & Radu Vranceanu, 2017. "A model of scholarly publishing with hybrid academic journals," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 82(1), pages 131-150, January.
    5. Christopher Müller & Enrico Böhme, 2014. "The Monopoly Benchmark on Two-Sided Markets," Finnish Economic Papers, Finnish Economic Association, vol. 27(1), pages 56-69, Autumn.
    6. Eberhard Feess & Marc Scheufen, 2016. "Academic copyright in the publishing game: a contest perspective," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 42(2), pages 263-294, October.
    7. Campbell, James D., 2015. "Ownership and pricing of information: A model and application to open access," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 29-42.
    8. Yuqing Zheng & Harry M. Kaiser, 2016. "Submission Demand In Core Economics Journals: A Panel Study," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 54(2), pages 1319-1338, April.
    9. Mark Armstrong, 2010. "Collection Sales: Good Or Bad For Journals?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 48(1), pages 163-176, January.
    10. Jeon, Doh-Shin & Menicucci, Domenico, 2013. "The Benefits of Diverse Preferences in Library Consortia," TSE Working Papers 13-425, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE), revised Dec 2015.
    11. Frank Mueller-Langer & Marc Scheufen, 2013. "Academic publishing and open access," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Digital Creative Economy, chapter 32, pages 365-377 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    12. Jeon, Doh-Shin & Menicucci, Domenico, 2013. "When Is Building a Library Consortium Bene ficial?," IDEI Working Papers 791, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse, revised 07 Apr 2014.
    13. Fehder, Daniel C. & Murray, Fiona & Stern, Scott, 2014. "Intellectual property rights and the evolution of scientific journals as knowledge platforms," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 83-94.
    14. Philipp Kohlgruber & Christoph Kuzmics, 2017. "The distribution of article quality and inefficiencies in the market for scientific journals," Graz Economics Papers 2017-11, University of Graz, Department of Economics.
    15. repec:hal:journl:hal-00971541 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. MARK J. McCABE & CHRISTOPHER M. SNYDER, 2014. "Identifying The Effect Of Open Access On Citations Using A Panel Of Science Journals," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 52(4), pages 1284-1300, October.

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