p2pnet.net news:- Almost exactly two years ago, Felix Oberholzer and Koleman Strumpf seriously upset the the Big 4 Organized Music cartel anti-p2p propaganda applecart when they released The Effect of File Sharing on Record Sales: An Empirical Analysis.
In it, they concluded, “Downloads have an effect on sales which is statistically indistinguishable from zero, despite rather precise estimates,” and their research has been echoing loudly ever since.
Now, in a paper just published in the Journal of Political Economy, 2007, they’ve done it once more.
Oberholzer, from Harvard University Business School, and Strumpf, from University of Kansas, School of Business, have just released the 2007 follow-up, also called The Effect of File Sharing on Record Sales: An Empirical Analysis, and it it, they again state unequivocally:
“Downloads have an effect on sales that is statistically indistinguishable from zero.”
This time around, they also say, “Our estimates are inconsistent with claims that file sharing is the primary reason for the decline in music sales during our study period.”
Go here for a .pdf download of the first paper.
For the moment, “this is a modified version of the paper which you’d written about earlier,” Strumpf told p2pnet.
“The key difference is not so much in the analysis and conclusion (which is similar to the earlier draft), but rather that it’s now gone through the peer-review process and is being published in what is arguably one of the three top journals in academic economics (and a journal which is closely associated with the University of Chicago economics department).
“No other paper on the topic of file sharing has appeared in a top-ranked journal before.”
He and Oberholzer are also working on an analysis which takes in file sharing and the movies.
Says the Journal of Political Economy abstract for the new paper:
For industries ranging from software to pharmaceuticals and entertainment, there is an intense debate about the appropriate level of protection for intellectual property. The Internet provides a natural crucible to assess the implications of reduced protection because it drastically lowers the cost of copying information. In this paper, we analyze whether file sharing has reduced the legal sales of music.
While this question is receiving considerable attention in academia, industry, and Congress, we are the first to study the phenomenon employing data on actual downloads of music files.
We match an extensive sample of downloads to U.S. sales data for a large number of albums. To establish causality, we instrument for downloads using data on international school holidays.
Downloads have an effect on sales that is statistically indistinguishable from zero. Our estimates are inconsistent with claims that file sharing is the primary reason for the decline in music sales during our study period.
When we ran our first post on the original paper, we kicked it off with:
Oh what a tangled web we weave,
When first we practise to deceive!
- Sir Walter Scott (1771? – 1832)
first post – File swapping has ‘zero effect’, March 30, 2004
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