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Copyrights and Creativity: Evidence from Italian Opera in the Napoleonic Age

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  • Michela Giorcelli
  • Petra Moser

Abstract

This paper exploits variation in the adoption of copyrights within Italy—due to the timing of Napoléon’s military victories—to investigate the causal effects of copyrights on creativity. Baseline regressions compare changes in opera production across Italian states with and without copyrights. This analysis yields three main results. First, the adoption of copyrights led to a significant increase in the number of newly created operas. Second, copyrights raised the quality of new operas, measured both by their immediate success and by their longevity. Third, there were no benefits from copyright extensions beyond the life of the original creator.

Suggested Citation

  • Michela Giorcelli & Petra Moser, 2020. "Copyrights and Creativity: Evidence from Italian Opera in the Napoleonic Age," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 128(11), pages 4163-4210.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:doi:10.1086/710534
    DOI: 10.1086/710534
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Chris Sampson’s journal round-up for 7th December 2020
      by Chris Sampson in The Academic Health Economists' Blog on 2020-12-07 12:00:03

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    Cited by:

    1. Christophe Bellégo & Romain De Nijs, 2020. "The Unintended Consequences of Antipiracy Laws on Markets with Asymmetric Piracy: The Case of the French Movie Industry," Information Systems Research, INFORMS, vol. 31(4), pages 1064-1086, December.
    2. Alexander Cuntz & Matthias Sahli, 2021. "Intermediary Liability and Trade in Follow-on Innovation," IRENE Working Papers 21-11, IRENE Institute of Economic Research.

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