Discussion Paper

No. 2016-48 | December 05, 2016
A Replication of Four Quasi-Experiments and Three Facts from ‘The Effect of File Sharing on Record Sales: An Empirical Analysis’ (Journal of Political Economy, 2007)
(Submitted as Replication Study)

Abstract

The influential piracy paper by Professors Oberholzer-Gee and Strumpf, although mainly based on proprietary data, contained an “important complement” to the main results, consisting of four “quasi-experiments” using publicly available data. This replication examines all of these quasi-experiments, first, by narrowly using identical data and statistical methods, as well as in a broader sense by extending or augmenting the data or methods. This study concludes that none of the four quasi-experiments provide evidence in support of OS' hypothesis that file-sharing has not harmed record sales.

Note of the Editor: The findings should be viewed as tentative until the paper has completed the review process and been published as an article.

Data Set

Data sets for articles published in "Economics" are available at Dataverse. Please have a look at our repository.

The data set for this article can be found at: http://dx.doi.org/10.7910/DVN/YMDINY

JEL Classification

Z1 O3 L8

Cite As

Stan J. Liebowitz (2016). A Replication of Four Quasi-Experiments and Three Facts from ‘The Effect of File Sharing on Record Sales: An Empirical Analysis’ (Journal of Political Economy, 2007). Economics Discussion Papers, No 2016-48, Kiel Institute for the World Economy. http://www.economics-ejournal.org/economics/discussionpapers/2016-48

Assessment



Comments and Questions


Anonymous - Reader Comment
January 24, 2017 - 09:09

The analysis of Oberholzer-Gee and Strumpf (OS) was always a clear outlier in the literature on the effect of downloading on legitimate sales of pre-recorded music. It is, as far as I am aware, the only study out of a population of perhaps 10 to 15 major papers, all published ...[more]

... in peer-reviewed journals, that does not find a significant negative impact of downloading on record sales. Prof. Liebowitz’s very careful and meticulous review of the OS paper seems to have pinpointed a host of failures in the data used and in the analysis carried out. I find Prof. Liebowitz’s arguments to be well constructed and persuasive, and in the end totally in accordance with both logic, and with the message that the rest of the published literature on this topic have repeatedly insisted upon.


Anonymous - Referee Report 1
January 24, 2017 - 09:37

see attached file


Anonymous - Invited reader report
February 03, 2017 - 11:51

see attached file