I am a PhD candidate at HEC Lausanne (UNIL).

My research interests range from the economics of digitization, innovation, and IP rights to platforms.

You can find my CV here


Kaiser, F. (2020). “Diversity and overlapping IP rights in the comic world.” WIPO Magazine, 2020 (4).

Who is your favorite comic superhero? Batman? Wonder Woman? Black Panther? Comic superheroes are an integral part of contemporary pop culture and a multi-billion dollar global industry. New research by WIPO reveals that, over the last 40 years, Batman, Dracula and Spiderman are the top three most-used franchise characters for movies and video games in the United States, the world’s biggest media market. Franchises are derivative works which build on characters developed in original creative works for use in a variety of mediums. 

Priem, M., Kaiser, F., & Schupp, J. (2020). Zufriedener denn je - Lebensverhältnisse in Deutschland 30 Jahre nach dem Mauerfall. Informationsdienst Soziale Indikatoren, 64, 7-15. 

October 3, 2020 marked the 30th anniversary of the German reunification. However, three decades have not yet been enough to completely equalize life satisfaction between East and West Germans. After a continuous shrinking of the "happiness gap" of self-reported life satisfaction in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the difference was smaller than ever in 2018, but had not been completely overcome. This is the conclusion of our analysis, which is based on data from the 2018 survey year of the long-term German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) study.

Papers in the publication process

Batman Forever? How Trademarks affect Reuse in the Comics Industry (with Alexander Cuntz and Christian Peukert).
Minor Revision at Research Policy.

We study how trademarks affect reuse in the comics industry. As a creative industry, the comics industry systematically relies on copyrights. Moreover, trademark protection can be used to generate income from the reuse of comic characters or strategically exclude others from reuse. Our unique data combines U.S. trademark records of comic characters with reuse information in print media and franchise products from 1990 to 2017. On average, we find that additional trademark protection is associated with a reduction in reuse in printed comic books of about 19%. We highlight three mechanisms: First, we find that the negative relationship between trademarking and reuse has been especially pronounced since the early 2000s when the arrival of digital technologies lowered the costs of entry, promotion and distribution. Second, our results are driven by lower third-party reuse, not lower reuse of the trademark holders. Third, we show that reuse is higher when trademark owners license comic characters to third parties. The negative association between trademarking and reuse carries over to franchise products, but it is weaker and tied to the era of digitization, with a 2% decline in franchise movies and 9% lower reuse in video games. 

Working Papers

Get Rich or Die Tryin': Concerts and the Digitization of Recorded Music (with Christian Peukert)

Over the last thirty years, the music industry has changed remarkably. Digitization has affected remuneration models, from sales of physical albums to online piracy and resulting in usage-based royalty income from streaming services. In this paper, we show that this is consistent with developments in the business models of recorded music. We quantify the relationship between artist income and concerts by studying the impact of live performances on demand for recorded music. Data from the online music service allows us to track individual-level listening and concert-going behavior. Canceled concerts provide a quasi-experimental setting to study the causal impact of exposure to live performances on attendees' listening behavior. We show that concerts lead to an increase in the probability of listening to the artist per week by 29% and 51% more weekly plays. We translate this into recorded music income as of before and during the era of online piracy, and after the arrival of music streaming services. We estimate that additional recording income accounted for 13% of yearly concert gross in the CD era, whereas it accounts for 0.5% of yearly concert gross in the streaming era. Our estimates explain both, the magnitude of increase during the piracy era, as well as the magnitude of decrease during the streaming era.

Measuring the Returns to Specialization in the Creative Industry (with Gaétan de Rassenfosse)