IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/24255.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Effects of Copyrights on Science - Evidence from the US Book Republication Program

Author

Listed:
  • Barbara Biasi
  • Petra Moser

Abstract

Copyrights for books, news, and other types of media are a critical mechanism to encourage creativity and innovation. Yet economic analyses continue to be rare, partly due to a lack of experimental variation in modern copyright laws. This paper exploits a change in copyright laws as a result of World War II to examine the effects of copyrights on science. In 1943, the US Book Republication Program (BRP) granted US publishers temporary licenses to republish the exact content of German-owned science books. Using new data on citations, we find that this program triggered a large increase in citations to German-owned science books. This increase was driven by a significant reduction in access costs: Each 10 percent decline in the price of BRP book was associated with a 43 percent increase in citations. To investigate the mechanism by which lower book prices influence science, we collect data on library holdings across the United States. We find that lower prices helped to distribute BRP books across US libraries, including less affluent institutions. Analyses of the locations of citing authors further indicate that citations increased most for locations that gained access to BRP books. Results are confirmed by two alternative measures of scientific output: new PhDs and US patents that use knowledge in BRP books.

Suggested Citation

  • Barbara Biasi & Petra Moser, 2018. "Effects of Copyrights on Science - Evidence from the US Book Republication Program," NBER Working Papers 24255, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:24255
    Note: DAE ED PE PR
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w24255.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Julia Cage & Nicolas Hervé & Marie-Luce Viaud, 2017. "The Production of Information in an Online World: Is Copy Right?," Sciences Po publications DP12066, Sciences Po.
    2. Enrico Berkes & Peter Nencka, 2019. "‘Novel’ Ideas: The Effects of Carnegie Libraries on Innovative Activities," 2019 Meeting Papers 1315, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. Julia Cagé & Nicolas Hervé & Marie-Luce Viaud, 2020. "The Production of Information in an Online World," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 87(5), pages 2126-2164.
    4. Skliaustyte, Egle & Weber, Matthias, 2021. "Subsidies or Tax Breaks Versus Intellectual Property Rights: Dual Markets," SocArXiv x87fy, Center for Open Science.
    5. Imke Reimers, 2019. "Copyright and Generic Entry in Book Publishing," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 257-284, August.
    6. Jeffrey L. Furman & Markus Nagler & Martin Watzinger, 2018. "Disclosure and Subsequent Innovation: Evidence from the Patent Depository Library Program," NBER Working Papers 24660, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media
    • N34 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: 1913-
    • N42 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy
    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:24255. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.