Scholarly Comments on Academic Economics

Responding to Oberholzer-Gee and Strumpf’s Attempted Defense of Their Piracy Paper


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Felix Oberholzer-Gee and Koleman Strumpf recently responded to some of my negative assessments of their influential 2007 piracy article. In this article I analyze their responses to my assessments. Several of their responses have the appearance of being plausible if they are read without reference to my actual arguments and discussion. A careful reading of my assessments and Professors Oberholzer-Gee and Strumpf’s responses, however, reveals that Professors Oberholzer-Gee and Strumpf generally misrepresent or ignore my arguments, while making numerous but untested factual assertions that are clearly refuted by the data, when tested. My negative assessments are only further enhanced by the weakness of their response, as well as by a new finding indicating that they mismatched by a week their download data and school vacation data, which would necessarily corrupt their key results.

This article is a response to The Effect of File Sharing on Record Sales, Revisited by Felix Oberholzer-Gee and Koleman Strumpf (Information Economics and Policy, December 2016).