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Seminar in Economics | with Joel Waldfogel

Department of Economics welcomes you to a seminar with Joel Waldfogel, University of Minnesota.

Welcome to this Higher Seminar in Economics organized by the Department of Economics, SSE. The seminar speaker is Joel Waldfogel, University of Minnesota, who will present

"The Welfare Effects of Gender Inclusive Intellectual Property Creation: Evidence from Books"


Women have traditionally participated in intellectual property creation at depressed rates relative to men. Book authorship is now an exception. In 1970, women published a third as many books as men. By 2020, women wrote the majority of new books. Adding new products can have significant welfare benefits, particularly when product quality is unpredictable. Using data on sales of over 8 million individual titles at Amazon, 2018-2021, along with information on 200 million ratings of 1.8 million books by 800,000 Goodreads users, I develop measures of both the supply of new books by male and female authors, as well as their usage by heterogeneous consumers. I show that growth in female-authored books has delivered substantial increases in the female-authored shares of consumption, book awards, and other measures of success, indicating both that the additional female-authored books are useful to consumers and that product quality is unpredictable. I calibrate a simple structural model of demand and product entry with unpredictable quality to quantify the welfare benefit from the additional female-authored books. While revenue gains to female authors come partly at the expense of male authors, the gains from inclusive innovation accrue to a wide range of consumers.


The seminar takes place at Stockholm School of Economics, Sveavägen 65, room A750.

Please contact nicola.donohoe@hhs.se if you have any questions.

Dept. of Economics Economics Seminar in economics