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

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

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.

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Paper provided by Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse in its series IDEI Working Papers with number 458.

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Date of creation: Oct 2009
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Publication status: Published in American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, vol.�2, n°2, mai 2010, p.�222-255.
Handle: RePEc:ide:wpaper:7208
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  1. repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:3:p:668-691 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:3:p:720-737 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. 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, 09.
  4. 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.
  5. Jean-Charles Rochet & Jean Tirole, 2003. "Platform Competition in Two-Sided Markets," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(4), pages 990-1029, 06.
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  7. 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.
  8. Mark Armstrong, 2006. "Competition in two‐sided markets," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(3), pages 668-691, 09.
  9. repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:3:p:645-667 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. 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.
  11. Mark McCabe, 2004. "Information goods and endogenous pricing strategies: the case of academic journals," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 12(10), pages 1-11.
  12. Mark J. McCabe & Christopher M. Snyder, 2005. "Open Access and Academic Journal Quality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 453-459, May.
  13. 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.
  14. Caillaud, Bernard & Jullien, Bruno, 2003. " Chicken & Egg: Competition among Intermediation Service Providers," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(2), pages 309-28, Summer.
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