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The Pricing of Academic Journals: A Two-Sided Market Perspective

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  • Jeon, Doh-Shin
  • Rochet, Jean-Charles

Abstract

More and more academic journals adopt an open-access policy, by which articles are accessible free of charge, while publication costs are recovered through author fees. We study the consequences of this open access policy on a journal’s quality standard. If the journal’s objective was to maximize social welfare, open access would be optimal as long as the positive externalities generated by its diffusion exceed the marginal cost of distribution. However, we show that if an open access journal has a different objective (such as maximizing readers’ utility, the impact of the journal or its profit), it tends to choose a quality standard below the socially efficient level.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeon, Doh-Shin & Rochet, Jean-Charles, 2009. "The Pricing of Academic Journals: A Two-Sided Market Perspective," IDEI Working Papers 458, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  • Handle: RePEc:ide:wpaper:7208
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Mark Armstrong, 2006. "Competition in two‐sided markets," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(3), pages 668-691, September.
    2. Doh-Shin Jeon & Domenico Menicucci, 2006. "Bundling Electronic Journals and Competition among Publishers," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(5), pages 1038-1083, September.
    3. Jean‐Charles Rochet & Jean Tirole, 2006. "Two‐sided markets: a progress report," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(3), pages 645-667, September.
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    5. Caillaud, Bernard & Jullien, Bruno, 2003. " Chicken & Egg: Competition among Intermediation Service Providers," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(2), pages 309-328, Summer.
    6. Mark McCabe, 2004. "Information goods and endogenous pricing strategies: the case of academic journals," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 12(10), pages 1-11.
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    9. 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.
    10. Mathias Dewatripont & Victor Ginsburgh & Patrick Legros & Alexis Walckiers & Jean-Pierre Devroey & Marianne Dujardin & Françoise Vandooren & Pierre Dubois & Jérôme Foncel & Marc Ivaldi & Marie-Dominiq, 2006. "Study on the economic and technical evolution of the scientific publication markets in Europe," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9545, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    11. Jean-Charles Rochet & Jean Tirole, 2002. "Cooperation Among Competitors: Some Economics Of Payment Card Associations," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(4), pages 549-570, Winter.
    12. Simon P. Anderson & Stephen Coate, 2005. "Market Provision of Broadcasting: A Welfare Analysis," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(4), pages 947-972.
    13. Mark Armstrong, 2010. "Collection Sales: Good Or Bad For Journals?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 48(1), pages 163-176, January.
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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. He, Qiao-Chu, 2017. "Virtual items trade in online social games," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 187(C), pages 1-14.
    2. Doh-Shin Jeon & Domenico Menicucci, 2017. "The Benefits of Diverse Preferences in Library Consortia," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(1), pages 105-135, March.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Batiz-Lazo, Bernardo & Krichel, Thomas, 2010. "The creation of internet communities: A brief history of on-line distribution of working papers through NEP, 1998-2010," MPRA Paper 27085, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. 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.
    7. Armstrong, Mark, 2014. "Opening Access to Research," MPRA Paper 59731, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Roberto Bombana & Carla Marchese, 2014. "Designing fees for music copyright holders in radio services," ECONOMIA E POLITICA INDUSTRIALE, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2014(2), pages 5-19.
    9. Damien Besancenot & Radu Vranceanu, 2014. "A model of scholarly publishing with hybrid academic journals," Working Papers hal-00971541, HAL.
    10. Richard Watt, 2014. "Open source and open access: new paradigms in the theory of copyright," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Economics of Copyright, chapter 17, pages 311-327 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    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. repec:spr:scient:v:115:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11192-018-2663-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Gehrig, Thomas & Stenbacka, Rune, 2017. "Journal Competition and the Quality of Published Research: Simultaneous versus Sequential Screening," CEPR Discussion Papers 12065, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    14. Andre Veiga & E. Glen Weyl, 2011. "Multidimensional Heterogeneity and Platform Design," Working Papers 11-33, NET Institute, revised Nov 2011.
    15. 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.
    16. Ponce, Jorge, 2012. "The quality of credit ratings: A two-sided market perspective," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 294-306.
    17. Doh-Shin Jeon & Nikrooz Nasr Esfahani, 2012. "News Aggregators and Competition Among Newspapers in the Internet," Working Papers 12-20, NET Institute.
    18. 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.
    19. Dubois, Pierre & Hernandez-Perez, Adriana & Ivaldi, Marc, 2006. "The Market of Academic Journals: Empirical Evidence from Data on French Libraries," IDEI Working Papers 416, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
    20. 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.
    21. 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.
    22. Mueller-Langer, Frank & Scheufen, Marc & Waelbroeck, Patrick, 2017. "Does Online Access Promote Research in Developing Countries?," Discussion Papers in Economics 31973, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    23. repec:hal:journl:hal-00971541 is not listed on IDEAS
    24. 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.
    25. Esfahani, Nikrooz Nasr & Jeon, Doh-Shin, 2013. "News Aggregators and Competition Among Newspapers in the Internet," IDEI Working Papers 770, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse, revised 16 Jul 2014.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D42 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Monopoly
    • L42 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Vertical Restraints; Resale Price Maintenance; Quantity Discounts
    • L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media

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