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Bookshop, blockbusters and readers’ tastes: a new appraisal of the fixed book price

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  • Perona, Mathieu

Abstract

This paper models the book retail market as a dual market. Consumers choose between competitively retailed, well-identified blockbusters and going to a monopoly bookshop to find the best match for their tastes. I show that uncertainty about the status on a given title (will it be a blockbuster or not?) places publishers in front of a trade-off between low prices (valuable if they get a blockbuster) and high prices (in the other case). The main effect of this trade-off is that the presence of blockbusters almost never lead to bookshop foreclosure by blockbusters and that a higher number of blockbusters leads to lower price for all books and increased consumer surplus. A fixed book price mitigates the effects of blockbuster, transferring suplus from blockbuster byuers towards publishers, and leads to perfect matching between readers and tastes. When the number of titles and of blockbusters becomes largers however, the situations with and without FBP converge.

Suggested Citation

  • Perona, Mathieu, 2009. "Bookshop, blockbusters and readers’ tastes: a new appraisal of the fixed book price," MPRA Paper 17857, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:17857
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    books; fixed book price; book economy; resale price maintenance;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L42 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Vertical Restraints; Resale Price Maintenance; Quantity Discounts
    • Z11 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economics of the Arts and Literature

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