The Effect of Recording Industry Lawsuits on the Market for Recorded Music

  • Ryan Thomas Holt College of Arts & Science


The origination and rapid growth in popularity of file sharing technology at the end of the twentieth century created the potential for a fundamental market shift for any private good that is reduced to information. Through a new exploration of this recent phenomenon within the context of peer-to-peer file sharing technology for music downloads, this article examines the relative importance of various economic factors in determining the national level of file sharing. After employing basic theoretical models and econometric methods, the author finds that file sharing behavior is most responsive to the number of lawsuits brought against consumers, the relative value and amount of leisure time for consumers, household disposable income, and the prevalence of computer virus threats among file-sharing program users. These new findings are discussed in the context of microeconomic expectations that predict a different set of empirical trends in file sharing technology.

Author Biography

Ryan Thomas Holt, College of Arts & Science
Ryan T. Holt is a fourth-year student majoring in Economics and Philosophy in the College of Arts and Science. A native of Nashville, Tennessee, he is a National Merit Finalist and has been consistently honored on the Dean’s List. He was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa and Omicron Delta Epsilon honor societies on the basis of his outstanding academic record. After graduation, Holt plans on joining the Teach for America program as an elementary school teacher in New York City for two years before attending law school.
How to Cite
HOLT, Ryan Thomas. The Effect of Recording Industry Lawsuits on the Market for Recorded Music. Vanderbilt Undergraduate Research Journal, [S.l.], v. 1, may 2005. ISSN 1555-788X. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 20 aug. 2019. doi:
Humanities and Social Sciences


File Sharing; Public Goods; Information Goods; RIAA Lawsuits