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Pirated Economics
2018, South Eastern Europe Journal of Economics, 16(2), pp.209-219
I argue that the impact of piracy engines for scholarly content on science depends on the nature of the research. Social sciences are more likely to reap benefits from such engines without inflicting much damage on journal publishers' revenues. To validate the claim, I examine the data from illegal downloads of economics content from Sci-Hub over a five-month period. I conclude that: (a) the extent of piracy in economics is not pervasive; (b) downloads mostly occur in under-developed countries; (c) users pirate even content that is freely available online. As a result, publishers are not losing much revenue, while exposure to generated knowledge is extended.
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