Meta-analysis of studies on file-sharing


3 Responses to “Meta-analysis of studies on file-sharing”

  1. Shay Guy says:

    Does how niche the market is make a difference? Or the medium? (Books vs. music vs. TV vs. Hollywood vs. Bollywood…) I don’t think the impact of textbook piracy would be negligible for that market, since most customers are only buying out of necessity.

  2. wonkyresponse says:

    I’m not sure it’s fair to call Wilson’s work a meta-analysis. His writing and “analysis” demonstrates his lack of exposure to economics research. 

    The papers he has discussed thus far, and my own quick survey of the literature, have fundamental flaws. Yet Wilson’s criticism of the Phoenix report (which does rely on the faulty premise that p2p downloads represent lost sales) skips the math and criticizes the authors for not citing others who have shown what they are trying to prove (using a pretty standard model).
    From what I skimmed of his other work, he never questions the methodology of any of the papers that have a pro-file sharing conclusion, despite their universal reliance on what I believe to be a terrible instrumental variable, questionable data sets, and (largely) data from the early 2000s when file sharing behavior was much different than it is now (napster anyone?).I applaud the effort, and I agree with his politics on the issue, but this is at best a sloppy analysis that I can’t imagine convert any readers (or policymakers) to our side.

    • Genevieve Gore says:

      Totally agree here, and it’s interesting that the commenter above seems to have approached this from an economics angle. It would be great if we could consistently use the term “meta-analysis” (even though I know jargon differs between disciplines), which is a quantitative analysis of the literature, usually done, at least in biomedicine, in a type of literature review known as a systematic review. Here, they don’t seem to have combined results of individual studies quantitatively, and I couldn’t find anything about how the articles they analyzed (or reviewed) were selected (i.e., no documented, replicable search strategy for the literature on the topic). 

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