• Table of Contents
    • Abstract
    • Keywords
    • Article
      • Stylized facts
      • The book market functions well
      • Books occupy niches, more so than publishers
      • The book market plays into special features of books
      • Should the government tolerate retail price maintenance?
        • Potential gains from retail price maintenance
        • Is the cross-subsidy argument really valid?
        • Summing up
      • Other public policies
        • Stimulating demand: lower value-added tax
        • Stimulating supply: prizes and grants for writers and subsidies for bookshops
      • Concluding remarks
    • See Also
    • Bibliography
    • How to cite this article

books, economics of

Frederick van der Ploeg and Marcel Canoy and Jan van Ours
From The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Second Edition, 2008
Edited by Steven N. Durlauf and Lawrence E. Blume
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Abstract

The tensions between books as expressions of culture and books as profitable products are analysed using insights from the theory of industrial organization. To stimulate the diversity of books on offer, maintain the density of bookshops and to promote reading, governments grant fixed price monopolies, subsidize authors, levy a lower consumption tax on books, and provide public libraries and education. Market structures and government policies vary widely and there is no case for harmonizing European book policies. The book market is innovative in solving its problems. The main task of the government is to promote reading.
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Keywords

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Article

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See Also

The authors would like to acknowledge that much of this article is based on Canoy, van Ours and van der Ploeg (2006) , which also contains more details on the stylized facts and references.
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How to cite this article

van der Ploeg, Frederick, Marcel Canoy and Jan van Ours. "books, economics of." The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics. Second Edition. Eds. Steven N. Durlauf and Lawrence E. Blume. Palgrave Macmillan, 2008. The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics Online. Palgrave Macmillan. 30 August 2014 <http://www.dictionaryofeconomics.com/article?id=pde2008_E000218> doi:10.1057/9780230226203.0146

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