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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 Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) in its series TSE Working Papers with number 09-098.

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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:tse:wpaper:21922
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Web page: http://www.tse-fr.eu/

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  1. 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.
  2. repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:3:p:720-737 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Jean-Charles Rochet & Jean Triole, 2002. "Platform competition in two sided markets," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 24929, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:3:p:645-667 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Mark Armstrong, 2006. "Competition in two‐sided markets," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(3), pages 668-691, 09.
  6. Simon P. Anderson & Stephen Coate, 2003. "Market Provision of Broadcasting: A Welfare Analysis," Virginia Economics Online Papers 358, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
  7. Doh-Shin Jeon & Domenico Menicucci, 2005. "Bundling Electronic Journals and Competition among Publishers," Working Papers 270, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  8. repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:3:p:668-691 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. 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.
  10. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:12:y:2004:i:10:p:1-11 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. 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.
  12. Mark McCabe, 2004. "Information goods and endogenous pricing strategies: the case of academic journals," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 12(10), pages 1-11.
  13. 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.
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