nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2016‒05‒14
two papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Axventure AB

  1. Did Cheaper Flights Change the Direction of Science? By Catalini, Christian; Fons-Rosen, Christian; Gaule, Patrick
  2. Open Access as a Crude Solution to a Hold-up Problem in the Two-Sided Market for Academic Journals By Mark J. McCabe; Christopher M. Snyder

  1. By: Catalini, Christian (Massachusetts Institute of Technology); Fons-Rosen, Christian (Universitat Pompeu Fabra); Gaule, Patrick (CERGE-EI)
    Abstract: We test how a reduction in travel cost affects the rate and direction of scientific research. Using a fine-grained, scientist-level dataset within chemistry (1991-2012), we find that after Southwest Airlines enters a new route, scientific collaboration increases by 50%, an effect that is magnified when weighting output by quality. The benefits from the lower fares, however, are not uniform across scientist types: younger scientists and scientists that are more productive than their local peers respond the most. Thus, cheaper flights, by reducing frictions otherwise induced by geography and allowing for additional face-to-face interactions, seem to enable better matches over distance.
    Keywords: scientific collaboration, air travel, temporary co-location, face-to-face meetings
    JEL: O3 R4 L93
    Date: 2016–04
  2. By: Mark J. McCabe; Christopher M. Snyder
    Abstract: The move from traditional to open-access journals—which charge no subscription fees, only submission fees—is gaining support in academia. We analyze a two-sided-market model in which journals cannot commit to subscription fees when authors (who prefer low subscription fees because this boosts readership) make submission decisions. This leads to a hold-up problem, manifested as excessive subscription fees. Open access is a crude attempt to avoid hold up by eliminating subscription fees. We compare the efficiency and profitability of traditional versus open access under various market structures (monopoly, Bertrand competition) and extensions (non-profit journals, bundling, hybrid pricing), using our theoretical findings to understand the evolution of the market for academic journals in the Internet age.
    JEL: D40 L14 L31 L82
    Date: 2016–05

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