The Pirate's Moral Compass: Religion, Morality, Underage Drinking, and Illegal Music Downloading

McCallum, Matthew
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Illegal downloading of music files has plagued the recording industry for years and stricter enforcement of piracy laws has shown little effectiveness in slowing this phenomenon. This paper studies the effect that religion and morality have on illegal downloading practices of music files by college students at a large private Christian university. I conclude that church attendance is associated with lower illegal downloading only for very frequent attenders. Also, students who rate their morals above average are less likely to illegally download than those who self-identified with average or below average morals. Additionally I examine four other “wrong” acts: copying homework, breaking the speed limit, shoplifting, and underage drinking. The results suggest that college students view underage drinking and illegal downloading as morally equivalent.

Economics, Illegal Downloading, Econometric Analysis