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The Economics of Books

Author

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  • Canoy, Marcel
  • van der Ploeg, Frederick
  • van Ours, Jan C

Abstract

The tensions between books and book markets as expressions of culture and books as products in profit-making businesses are analysed and insights from the theory of industrial organisation are given. Governments intervene in the market for books through laws concerning prices of books, grants for authors and publishers, a lower value-added tax, public libraries and education in order to stimulate the diversity of books on offer, increase the density of retail outlets and to promote reading. An overview of the different ways by which countries differ in terms of market structures and government policies is given. Particular attention is paid to retail price maintenance. Due to differences between European countries it is not a good idea to harmonise European book policies. Our analysis suggests that the book market seems quite able to invent solutions to specific problems of the book trade and that, apart from promoting reading, there is little need for government intervention.

Suggested Citation

  • Canoy, Marcel & van der Ploeg, Frederick & van Ours, Jan C, 2005. "The Economics of Books," CEPR Discussion Papers 4892, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4892
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    Cited by:

    1. Karol Jan Borowiecki & Trilce Navarrete, 2018. "Fiscal and economic aspects of book consumption in the European Union," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 42(2), pages 309-339, May.
    2. repec:kap:jculte:v:41:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s10824-016-9275-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Kalb, Guyonne & van Ours, Jan C., 2014. "Reading to young children: A head-start in life?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 1-24.
    4. Christian Hjorth-Andersen, 2011. "Publishing," Chapters,in: A Handbook of Cultural Economics, Second Edition, chapter 53 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. Gaffeo, Edoardo & Scorcu, Antonello E. & Vici, Laura, 2008. "Demand distribution dynamics in creative industries: The market for books in Italy," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 257-268, September.
    6. Stoneman, Paul, 2011. "Soft Innovation: Economics, Product Aesthetics, and the Creative Industries," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199697021.
    7. de Bijl, P.W.J. & Brunekreeft, G. & van Damme, E.E.C. & Larouche, P. & Shelkoplyas, N. & Sorana, V., 2005. "Interconnected Networks," Discussion Paper 2005-007, Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economic Center.
    8. Jonathan Beck, 2007. "The sales effect of word of mouth: a model for creative goods and estimates for novels," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 31(1), pages 5-23, March.
    9. John Ashworth & Bruno Heyndels & Kristien Werck, 2010. "Expert judgements and the demand for novels in Flanders," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 34(3), pages 197-218, August.
    10. repec:pra:mprapa:40306 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Victor Fernandez-Blanco & Juan Prieto-Rodriguez & Javier Suarez-Pandiello, 2015. "A quantitative analysis of reading habits," ACEI Working Paper Series AWP-05-2015, Association for Cultural Economics International, revised May 2015.
    12. Françoise Benhamou & Stéphanie Peltier, 2007. "How should cultural diversity be measured? An application using the French publishing industry," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 31(2), pages 85-107, June.
    13. Villarroya, Anna & Escardíbul, Josep-Oriol, 2010. "La demanda de libros y publicaciones periódicas en España/The Demand for Books and Periodicals in Spain," Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, vol. 28, pages 195(22á)-19, Abril.
    14. Perona, Mathieu, 2009. "Bookshop, blockbusters and readers’ tastes: a new appraisal of the fixed book price," MPRA Paper 17857, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. 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.
    16. van Ours, J.C., 2006. "Children Reading Fiction Books Because They Want To," Discussion Paper 2006-3, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    17. Ekaterina S. Demina & Evgeniy M. Ozhegov, 2017. "The Impact of Omnivorism on Consumer Choice: The Case of the Book Market," HSE Working papers WP BRP 175/EC/2017, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    18. Allen Molina & Jungho Baek, 2015. "Analyzing Factors Affecting U.S. College Textbook Prices: An ARDL Cointegration Approach," Review of Economics & Finance, Better Advances Press, Canada, vol. 5, pages 35-42, May.
    19. Juan Jiménez & Javier Campos, 2010. "Modelling Competition in the Textbook Market: Some Lessons still to Learn," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 71-85, March.
    20. van Ours, Jan C, 2006. "Children Reading Fiction Books Because They Want To," CEPR Discussion Papers 5472, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    21. Fernández Blanco, Víctor & Prieto Rodríguez,Juan, 2009. "Análisis de los hábitos de lectura como una decisión económica/," Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, vol. 27, pages 113-138, Abril.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    authors; books; diversity; internet; libraries; monopolistic competition; publishers; retail price maintenance; subsidies;

    JEL classification:

    • D40 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - General
    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • L10 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - General
    • L40 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - General
    • Z11 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economics of the Arts and Literature

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