Skip to main content

A Field Experiment on the Determinants of Unlawful File Sharing

About this project
Daniel Zizzo

Piers Fleming

Sven Fischer

Lead investigator(s):
– Prof Daniel Zizzo
Dr Piers Fleming
Dr Sven Fischer

Start Date: 1st January 2015
End Date: 30th September 2016


During this project, a large scale financially incentivized field economic experiment will be undertaken to provide a better understanding of unlawful file-sharing behaviour, in general and particularly in the context of movies. This will achieve a number of objectives:

(a) Provide much-needed behavioural and causal evidence on the source of unlawful file-sharing;

(b) Provide behavioural evidence specifically in relation to potential sources of unlawful file-sharing, such as social and moral utility, where evidence is especially scarce;

(c) Connect experimental behavioural data with natural world unlawful file-sharing;

(d) Do the above in the context of movies, an area under-explored relative to music files;

(e) Do the above with a representative sample of the U.K. unlawful file-sharing population;

(f) Begin identifying behavioural and causal differences by different segments of the U.K. population.

Project outputs include:

  • Why Unlawful Downloading? – this blog post by Piers Fleming and Daniel John Zizzo is based on a presentation for a CREATe capacity building event hosted by the Centre for Competition Policy & University of East Anglia, Norwich.