Friday, June 25, 2010

Personal Update (and a few non-personal)

Today is my final day at my current place of employment. This fall, I will be beginning this program, hopefully with a concentration in law, psychology, and human development.

My writing here, I've hoped, has addressed various issues at the intersection of human well-being and public policy. I anticipate that I will be studying and experiencing much more regarding the center point of that venn diagram, though perhaps particular topics might vary more, or I might find focus on other unanticipated subjects. I'm hoping you'll stick with me.

For example: Does our copyright law actually encourage artists to create? At the very least, copyright infringement doesn't appear to discourage it:

Yet, despite the popularity of the new technology, file sharing has not undermined the incentives of authors to produce new works. We argue that the effect of file sharing has been muted for three reasons. (1) The cannibalization of sales that is due to file sharing is more modest than many observers assume. Empirical work suggests that in music, no more than 20% of the recent decline in sales is due to sharing. (2) File sharing increases the demand for complements to protected works, raising, for instance, the demand for concerts and concert prices. The sale of more expensive complements has added to artists’ incomes. (3) In many creative industries, monetary incentives play a reduced role in motivating authors to remain creative. Data on the supply of new works are consistent with the argument that file sharing did not discourage authors and publishers. Since the advent of file sharing, the production of music, books, and movies has increased sharply.

Of course, a site named after the founder of environmental economics will still continue to discuss such topics, perhaps merely with a very broad definition of both "environment" and "economics." Duly, you can pick up your free "Prosecute BP" sticker here.

Thanks, All.

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