internet piracy and book sales. a field experiment

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Presentation from EALE2014.

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  • 1. Internet piracy and book sales. A field experiment.Wojciech HardyMicha KrawczykEALE `14Joanna TyrowiczGroup for Research in APplied Economics

2. Summary of the resultsBook industry representatives concern about internet piracy might be exaggerated.(At least) for now.sssssssss2 3. Many studies for film and music industries.Mixed results depending on:The methodology.The analyzed good.The analyzed period.A few studies on book industry. But:Small-scale (almost case studies).Specific genres of books.Not really on piracy.3DesignRecruitmentBook DataLiteratureMatchingTreatmentA year passes... 4. Many studies for film and music industries.Mixed results depending on:The methodology.The analyzed good.The analyzed period.A few studies on book industry. But:Small-scale (almost case studies).Specific genres of books.Not really on piracy.3DesignRecruitmentBook DataLiteratureMatchingTreatmentA year passes...Main problems:Seasonal effectsCausalityOmitted variablePerfect tool? Experiments! 5. In generalThe sample should be:Large (for statistical inference).Varied (for representativeness).Long (to control for seasonal effects).The experimental methodology would deal with:Reverse causality (a reference group).Omitted variables (randomized treatment application).In detailAcquire book data.Match them in `pairs (two or more books as similar as possible!).Protect one randomly chosen book in each pair.Do it for a year.Compare the two outcomes.4DesignRecruitmentBook DataLiteratureMatchingTreatmentA year passes... 6. In generalThe sample should be:Large (for statistical inference).Varied (for representativeness).Long (to control for seasonal effects).The experimental methodology would deal with:Reverse causality (a reference group).Omitted variables (randomized treatment application).In detailAcquire book data.Match them in `pairs (two or more books as similar as possible!).Protect one randomly chosen book in each pair.Do it for a year.Compare the two outcomes.4DesignRecruitmentBook DataLiteratureMatchingTreatmentA year passes...Contribution?New industryNew methodologyNew conclusions 7. Around 70 Polish publishers contacted.11 accepted.9 went through with providing all of the data.The specialities of the publishers varied:Law-focused, fantasy-focused, mixed, etc.Foreign versus national.Both medium and larger publishers [some not very popular books and some bestsellers (one excluded)].Overall: we managed to get a considerable sample.5DesignRecruitmentBook DataLiteratureMatchingTreatmentA year passes... 8. In total: almost 250 books.Other variables: E-book existence, date of publishing, price, sales forecasts, first print, etc.6DesignRecruitmentBook DataLiteratureMatchingTreatmentA year passes... 9. We match them into pairs (groups)The variables they are matched on:PublisherSegmentPublication date (current ed.)Edition numberPage countVersions available (type of cover, digital)Sales forecasts (monthly)Number of unauthorized copies found prior to the experimentMatching results:Groups of two: 94Groups of three: 13Groups of five: 17DesignRecruitmentBook DataLiteratureMatchingTreatmentA year passes... 10. Within each group we have randomly picked protected and control titles.Thus both groups were comparable.We did nothing to the Control Treatment (CT) group.Agency Plagiat.pl removed unauthorized copies from the Enforcement Treatment (ET) group.We observed both groups between 11.2012 and 9.2013.8DesignRecruitmentBook DataLiteratureMatchingA year passes...Treatment 11. Within each group we have randomly picked protected and control titles.Thus both groups were comparable.We did nothing to the Control Treatment (CT) group.Agency Plagiat.pl removed unauthorized copies from the Enforcement Treatment (ET) group.We observed both groups between 11.2012 and 9.2013.8DesignRecruitmentBook DataLiteratureMatchingA year passes...TreatmentA note on file-sharing in Poland.Alexa ranking ofmost popular websites:Chomikuj.pl 17thPirate Bay 66th 12. Within each group we have randomly picked protected and control titles.Thus both groups were comparable.We did nothing to the Control Treatment (CT) group.Agency Plagiat.pl removed unauthorized copies from the Enforcement Treatment (ET) group.We observed both groups between 11.2012 and 9.2013.8DesignRecruitmentBook DataLiteratureMatchingA year passes...TreatmentA note on file-sharing in Poland.Alexa ranking ofmost popular websites:Chomikuj.pl 17thPirate Bay 66th 13. Two manipulation checks:1)Based on the data from Plagiat.pl2)Three research assistants:Searched for 20 titles each.Found fewer protected books.If found searched longer.If found mostly at non-standard sources.9Sales DataTestsBase RegressionsManipulation CheckQuantile RegressionsConclusions 14. We received sales data.Some distribution.They could be negative (what we did)Smth by genre?10Sales DataTestsBase RegressionsManipulation CheckQuantile RegressionsConclusions 15. Two comparable groups -> simple testing should suffice.No difference in sales!No difference in variance!11Sales DataTestsBase RegressionsManipulation CheckQuantile RegressionsConclusions 16. Lets recheck our strategy and add controls.No results!12Sales DataTestsBase RegressionsManipulation CheckQuantile RegressionsConclusions 17. Popularity? (see this and that)No results!13Sales DataTestsBase RegressionsManipulation CheckQuantile RegressionsConclusions 18. Good thing about piracy that you dont need a result14Sales DataTestsBase RegressionsManipulation CheckQuantile RegressionsConclusionsWe have performed a large field experiment on piracys impact on book sales. We applied a robust methodology and checked for more complex relationships. Internet piracy does not seem to pose a threat to the book industry. We cannot predict the future and piracys impact on the e-book industry. 19. Thank you for your attention! Author: Wojciech Hardy e-mail: [email protected] about our research onhttp://grape.uw.edu.pl/ipiracyTwitter: @GrapeUW