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Title:The economics of books PDF Logo
Authors:Canoy, Marcel F. M.
van Ours, Jan C.
van der Ploeg, Frederick
Issue Date:2005
Series/Report no.:CESifo working papers 1414
Abstract:The tensions between books and book markets as expressions of culture and books as products in profit-making businesses are analysed and insights from the theory of industrial organisation are given. Governments intervene in the market for books through laws concerning prices of books, grants for authors and publishers, a lower value-added tax, public libraries and education in order to stimulate the diversity of books on offer, increase the density of retail outlets and to promote reading. An overview of the different ways by which countries differ in terms of market structures and government policies is given. Particular attention is paid to retail price maintenance. Due to differences between European countries it is not a good idea to harmonise European book policies. Our analysis suggests that the book market seems quite able to invent solutions to specific problems of the book trade and that, apart from promoting reading, there is little need for government intervention.
Subjects:books
publishers
authors
diversity
monopolistic competition
retail price maintenance
subsidies
libraries
internet
JEL:Z11
D6
D4
L4
L1
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:CESifo Working Papers, CESifo Group Munich

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