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Price Discrimination, Copyright Law, and Technological Innovation: Evidence From The Introduction of DVDs

  • Mortimer, Julie Holland

U. S. copyright law effectively prevents direct price discrimination for copyright holders that sell to different markets. In response, these firms can engage in indirect price discrimination. I derive theoretical predictions about the use of indirect price discrimination, and I analyze how optimal pricing strategies differ for different products. Using data on VHS and DVD movie distribution, I find that firms' pricing choices are consistent with the predictions of theory and that firms' use of indirect price discrimination benefits consumers (but harms ancillary retailers). Finally, I examine what optimal pricing strategies might look like in a legal environment that permits direct price discrimination.

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Paper provided by Harvard University Department of Economics in its series Scholarly Articles with number 3425914.

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Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Quarterly Journal of Economics -Cambridge Massachusetts-
Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:3425914
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  9. Berry, Steven & Levinsohn, James & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Automobile Prices in Market Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 841-90, July.
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  13. Judith Chevalier & Austan Goolsbee, 2005. "Are Durable Goods Consumers Forward Looking? Evidence from College Textbooks," NBER Working Papers 11421, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. McCalman, Phillip, 2004. "Foreign direct investment and intellectual property rights: evidence from Hollywood's global distribution of movies and videos," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 107-123, January.
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  18. Novos, Ian E & Waldman, Michael, 1984. "The Effects of Increased Copyright Protection: An Analytic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(2), pages 236-46, April.
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  24. repec:bla:restud:v:75:y:2008:i:1:p:165-199 is not listed on IDEAS
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