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Empirical Essays on Competition and Regulation in Book Markets


Phil-Adrian Klotz 



This doctoral thesis and its associated papers address empirical questions on the competition and regulation in the German as well as international book markets. Books are classified as experience goods because readers can only ascertain the quality of a given book after reading it. Beyond, book markets are regulated in many countries to secure a broad and diverse supply of books so that currently there are fixed book price systems in 15 OECD countries (e.g., in Germany). The first two papers analyze the book market in Germany. Using an instrumental variable approach, the first study of my thesis shows that the two sales channels e-Commerce and brick-and-mortar stores are imperfect substitutes for German book readers. The second study examines the role of online and offline retailers in discovering new bestsellers in the book market and finds that consumers in the offline channel are more likely to read future bestsellers. The third paper analyzes the British e-Book market by using text mining and machine learning approaches and comes to the conclusion that e-Books sold under the so-called agency model are on average cheaper than e-Books sold under the wholesale model. In the fourth paper, we investigate whether digital and print books are substitutes or rather comlements by estimating cross-format elasticities. Our results exhibit that print books and e-books are substitutes for consumers in Germany as well as in the UK. 



Working Papers