Question from Past Microeconomics Qualifying Exam[]

Fall 2000 - Section I, Question one, George Mason University

True, False, Uncertain. Determine whether or not each of the following statements are true or false. Explain your reasoning briefly in a paragraph or two. (The explanation is often more important than the answer given). Include a carefully labeled diagram or game matrix if it helps to clarify your answer.

Consumers would be better off if they didn't have to pay authors to copy copyrighted works.


Uncertain. While a sudden elimination of copyright would allow people to obtain more literature for little price, thus making consumers better off, it will eliminate a great deal of incentive for authors to make new works. Consumers that read regularly will find quality new works scarcer and scarcer in the long run even as existing works become more abundent. People that don't read lot, however, might find this change in law beneficial in the short run as well as the long run because they are less likely to red through all the "good" works before they die.

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