NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Barbara Biasi

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Princeton University
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NBER Working Papers and Publications

January 2018Effects of Copyrights on Science - Evidence from the US Book Republication Program
with Petra Moser: w24255
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 c...
 
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