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Indiana University Bloomington

Doctoral Programs

1960 Notable

From 1960-2013, we prepared nearly 1,200 men and women
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Book Chapters

Searching for Physical and Digital Media: The Evolution of Platforms for Finding Books

2013, NBER's Economics of Digitization

Michael R. Baye, Babur De Los Santos, Matthijs R. Wildenbeest


This chapter provides a data-driven overview of the dierent online platforms that consumers use to search for books and booksellers, and documents how the use of these platforms is shifting over time. Our data suggest that, as a result of digitization, consumers are increasingly conducting searches for books at retailer sites and closed systems (e.g., the Kindle and Nook) rather than at general search engines (e.g., Google or Bing). We also highlight a number of challenges that will make it dicult for researchers to accurately measure internet-based search behavior in the years to come. Finally, we highlight a number of open agenda items related to the pricing of books and other digital media, as well as consumer search behavior.


Baye, Michael R., Babur De Los Santos and Matthijs R. Wildenbeest (2013), "Searching for Physical and Digital Media: The Evolution of Platforms for Finding Books," NBER's Economics of Digitization, ed. by S. Greenstein, A. Goldfarb, and C. Tucker. University of Chicago Press, forthcoming.