Displacement Effects of Public Libraries
36 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2017 Last revised: 14 Jan 2022
Date Written: January 14, 2022
If free lending in public libraries is displacing sales in bookstores, some compensation may be needed to maintain incentives for authors to create new works. To determine whether this is indeed the case, we created a novel dataset that integrated bookstore sales data with public library copy data in Japan and quantified the displacement effects of public libraries. Controls for title-municipality, months-after-publication, and municipality-month-specific unobserved heterogeneity were introduced. The study found that a library copy displaced the sales of the title in the municipality by approximately 0.24 copies per month for the top 1/6 popular books and 0.52 copies for bestsellers. Various robustness checks were consistent with the baseline results; thus, the study confirmed the displacement effects of popular books.
Keywords: Public lending right, Library, Book, Displacement effects, Japan.
JEL Classification: K11, L30, L67, O34, O38
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