Recent Working Papers


1.      Liron Sivan, Michael Smith, Rahul Telang (2014), “Do Search Engines Influence Media Piracy? Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment”,


There is an ongoing public policy debate regarding the role search engines can play in the fight against intellectual property theft. However, for any sensible policy discussion it must first be the case that search engine results influence consumer piracy choices, and there is very little empirical evidence one way or the other on this question. The goal of this research is to use a randomized field study to analyze whether search results can influence consumers choices for infringing versus legal consumption channels.

To do this, we design a customized search engine that allows us to experimentally manipulate pirated and legal links in users’ search results. We then conduct separate experiments on a general population of users and on college-aged users where we randomly assign users to a control condition or to separate treatment conditions where infringing sites or legal sites are artificially promoted in the search results.

Our data show that relative to the non-manipulated (control) condition, the presence of pirate or legal links in search results strongly influences the behavior of both the general and college-aged populations: users are more likely to choose a legal option to acquire the movie when legal sites are promoted, and users are more likely to choose a pirate option when piracy links are promoted. By analyzing users’ initial search terms, we also find evidence that users who initially intend to pirate are more likely to purchase legally when legal links are promoted and that users who initially intend to consume legally are more likely to pirate when pirate links are promoted. Together our results suggest that reducing the prominence of pirated links can be a viable policy option in the fight against intellectual property theft.


2.      Rahul Telang, Joel Waldfogel, “Piracy and New Product Creation: A Bollywood Story”

While copyright research in the decade following Napster focused mostly on whether file sharing undermines demand, research has more recently asked how piracy and other aspects of digitization affect the supply of new products. Although revenue has declined sharply, evidence that weakened effective copyright protection undermines creation has been elusive. Instead, because of cost-reducing effects of digitization, the number of new recorded music products – and their apparent quality – has increased. This study examines movie production in India during a period of technological change that facilitated large-scale piracy. The diffusion of the VCR and cable television in India between 1985 and 2000 created substantial opportunities for unpaid movie consumption. We use this episode to study possible impacts of piracy on supply. We first document, from narrative sources, conditions conducive to piracy as these technologies diffused. We then provide strong circumstantial evidence of piracy in diminished appropriability: movies’ revenues fell by a third to a half, conditional on their ratings by movie-goers and their ranks in their annual revenue distributions. Weaker effective demand undermined creative incentives. While the number of new movies released had grown steadily from 1960 to 1985, it fell markedly between 1985 and 2000, suggesting a supply elasticity in the range of 0.2-0.7. Thus, our study provides affirmative evidence on a central tenet of copyright policy, that stronger effective copyright protection effects more creation. We contrast our findings with evidence from other contexts.


3.      Zia Hydari, Rahul Telang, William Marella, “Saving Patient Ryan: Can Hospital IT make patient care safer? Evidence from Pennsylvania Hospitals”.


Patient safety is expected to benefit from health information technology (IT) but the evidence of health IT’s impact on safety is equivocal. We study the effect of advanced Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) on patient safety using panel data from Pennsylvania hospitals for 2005–2012. State law mandates Pennsylvania hospitals to report patient safety events to Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority, and our data set includes all reported patient safety events in Pennsylvania hospitals for 2005-2012.  We find that hospitals benefit from a 27% decline in patient safety events attributable to advanced EMR adoption. We also find that several important subcategories of patient safety events contribute to the overall benefit --- events due to medication errors decline by 30% and events due to complications decline by 25%. Our results hold against a number of robustness checks on identification.



Journal Publications



1.    B Danaher, Y Huang, M Smith, R Telang (2014), “An empirical Analysis of Digital Music Bundling Strategies” Forthcoming, Management Science.


2.      B Danaher, M Smith, R Telang (2014), “Piracy and Copyright Enforcement Mechanism”, Innovation Policy and the Economy, Vol (14), NBER  


3.      B Danaher, M D Smith, R Telang, S Chen, “The Effect of Graduated Response Anti-Piracy Laws on Music Sales: Evidence from an Event Study in France”, forthcoming Journal of Industrial Economics.

(This paper has been in the news of obvious reasons. Different sides have taken their own spin on what the paper suggests on not. Here is some clarifications from us:

Here is a Le Monde Article which we believe (wrongly) has been critical of our results. Hadopi, source of the growth of iTunes)


4.      Rajiv Garg, Rahul Telang (2013), “Inferring App demand from publicly available data”, paper, MIS Quarterly, 37(4)

Here is a story in Post-Gazette on this paper,


5.      B Danaher, S Dhanasobhon, M Smith, R. Telang (2010), “Converting Pirates without Cannibalizing Purchasers: The Impact of Digital Distribution on Physical Sales and Internet Piracy”, Marketing Science, 29(6), 1138:1151.  Paper.


6.      M. D. Smith, R. Telang “Piracy or Promotion? The Impact of Broadband Internet Penetration on DVD Sales”, Information Economics and Policy, 22(4), 289-298.


7.      Michael Smith, Rahul Telang (2010), “Competing with Free: The Impact of Movie Broadcasting on DVD Sales and Internet Piracy”, MIS Quarterly, 33(2), 321-338. paper


8.      S Bhattacharjee, R Gopal, K Lertwachara, J Marsden, R Telang (2006), “The Effect of Digital Sharing Technologies on Music Markets: A Survival Analysis of Albums on Ranking Charts”, Management Science, 53(10), 1359-1374. [lead Article] paper


9.      R Krishnan, M D. Smith, Z. Tang, R. Telang (2007) “Digital Business Models for Peer-to-Peer Networks: Analysis and Economic Issues”, Review of Network Economics, 6(2), 194-213.  paper

10.  Anindya Ghose, Michael Smith, Rahul Telang (2006), "Internet Exchanges for Used Books: An Empirical Analysis of Product Cannibalization and Welfare Impact", Information Systems Research (ISR), 17(1), 3-19, [Lead Article] paper

·         An article about this paper appeared in The New York Times article.

·         Won the runner-up best published paper award in ISR.


11.  Anindya Ghose, Rahul Telang, Ramayya Krishnan (2005), "Impact of Electronic Secondary Markets on Information Goods Supply Chain, Journal of MIS (JMIS), 22(2), 91-120. paper


12.  Rahul Telang, Tridas Mukhopadhyay (2005), "Drivers of Web Portal Use", Electronic Commerce Research and Applications. 4(1): 46-62. paper


13.  Rahul Telang, Peter Boatwright, Tridas Mukhopadhyay (2004), "A Mixture Model for Internet Search Engine Visits", Journal of Marketing Research (JMR), 41(2), 206-214. paper


14.  Rahul Telang, Uday Rajan, Tridas Mukhopadhyay (2004), "The Market Structure for Internet Search Engines", Journal of MIS (JMIS), 21(2), 137-160. paper


15.  Ramayya Krishnan, Michael Smith, Rahul Telang (2004), "The Economics of Peer to Peer Networks", Journal of Information Technology Theory and Application (JITTA), 5(3), 31-44. paper





1.      S. Wattal, R. Telang, T. Mukhopadhyay, P. Boatwright (2010), “What’s in a “name”? Impact of Use of Customer Information in Email Advertisement”, Information Systems Research, forthcoming


2.      S. Romanosky, R. Telang, A. Acquisti (2011), “Do Data Breach Disclosure Laws Reduce Identity Theft?”, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management (JPAM), 30 (2), 256-286, paper.


3.      A. Arora, C. Forman, A. Nandkumar, R. Telang (2010), “Competition and patching of security vulnerabilities: An empirical analysis”, Information Economics and Policy, (10), 164-177. paper


4.      A. Arora, R. Krishnan, R. Telang, Y. Yang (2010) "An Empirical Analysis of Software Vendors’ Patch Release Behavior: Impact of Vulnerability Disclosure", Information Systems Research (ISR), 21(1), 115-132, paper, data


5.      Ashish Arora, Rahul Telang, Hao Xu (2008), “Optimal Policy for Software Vulnerability Disclosure”, Management Science, 54(4), 642-656 paper


6.      Rahul Telang, Sunil Wattal (2007), “An Empirical Analysis of the Impact of Software Vulnerability Announcements on Firm Stock Price”, IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering paper, 33 (8), 544-557.


7.      Ashish Arora, Anand Nandkumar, Rahul Telang (2006), “Does Information Security attack frequency increase with Vulnerability disclosure? - An Empirical Analysis”, Information Systems Frontier, 8(5), 350-362.paper


8.      Ashish Arora, Jonathan Caulkins, Rahul Telang (2006), "Sell First, Fix Later: Impact of Patching on Software Quality", Management Science (Research Note), 52(3), 465-471 paper


9.      Karthik Kannan, Rahul Telang (2005), "Market For Software vulnerabilities? Think Again", Management Science, 51(5), 726-740. paper


10.  Ashish Arora, Rahul Telang (2005), "Economics of Software Vulnerability Disclosure", IEEE Security and Privacy, 3 (1), 20-25.


11.  Ashish Arora, D Hall, C. A. Pinto, D Ramsey, R Telang (2004), "Measuring the Risk Based Value of IT Security Solutions", IEEE IT Professional, 6(6), 35-42.





1.      Rodrigo Belo, Pedro Ferreira, Rahul Telang, “Impact of Broadband in School: Evidence from Portugal”, Management Science, 60(2). 265-282. [Lead Article] paper.


2.      S. Kim, R. Telang, B. Vogt, R. Krishnan (2010), “Empirical Analysis of Mobile Voice and SMS Service: A Structural Model”, 56(2). 234-252, Management Science. paper.


3.      Robert E. Kraut, Shyam Sunder, Rahul Telang, James Morris (2005), "Pricing to Solve the Problem of Spam", Human-Computer Interaction, 20, 195-223 paper.


4.      Anuj Kumar, Rahul Telang. “Impact of Customer Web Portals on Call Center”, Information Systems Research (forthcoming), paper.


5.      Anuj Kumar, Rahul Telang, “Product Customization and Customer Service Costs: An Empirical Analysis”, forthcoming, Manufacturing and Service Operations Management (MSOM), paper.


6.      Sunil Wattal, Rahul Telang, Tridas Mukhopadhyay (2009), "Information Personalization in a Two-Dimensional Product Differentiation Model”, Journal of MIS, 26(2), 69-95. paper