Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

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Levin College of Law

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Friday, December 20, 2013

Quantifying the Impacts of Digital Rights Management and E-Book Pricing on the E-Book Reader Market

Jin-Hyuk Kim (Department of Economics, University of Colorado at Boulder) and Tin Cheuk Leung (Department of Economics, Chinese University of Hong Kong) have posted Quantifying the Impacts of Digital Rights Management and E-Book Pricing on the E-Book Reader Market.

ABSTRACT: The demand for electronic books (e-books) and the e-book readers are complementary. On the one hand, the emergence of e-book readers such as Amazon's Kindle has triggered the recent growth of the e-book market. On the other hand, several issues in the e-book market can affect the future of the e-book reader market. Considering this complementarity, this paper quantifies the impact of digital rights management (DRM) and discounted e-book pricing on the demand for e-book readers. We collect conjoint survey data to estimate a random coefficient demand model using a hierarchical Bayesian method. Our counterfactual experiments suggest two things. First, Kindle's and Nook's market shares would increase by dropping DRM. Consumer welfare would increase seven percent if all e-book readers dropped DRM. Second, an increase in e-book prices would increase iPad's market share at the expense of that of Kindle and Nook. Consumer welfare would decrease 6 to 10 percent if Kindle's and Nook's e-book prices went up by 50 percent.

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/antitrustprof_blog/2013/12/quantifying-the-impacts-of-digital-rights-management-and-e-book-pricing-on-the-e-book-reader-market-.html

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