nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2010‒07‒03
four papers chosen by
Walter Frisch
University Vienna

  1. Analysis of Internet Patenting Strategies of E-commerce Firms By Biju Paul Abraham
  2. The diffusion of Internet: a cross-country analysis By David Cuberes; Luis Andrés; Tomás Serebrisky; Mame Astou Diouf
  3. Social Communication and Discrimination: A Video Experiment By Ben Greiner; Werner Güth; Ro'i Zultan
  4. Broadband Openness Rules Are Fully Justified by Economic Research By Nicholas Economides

  1. By: Biju Paul Abraham
    Abstract: Patents and patent applications are important indicators of innovative activity in industrial R & D, especially in areas such as Information Technology (IT), where technology growth is rapid. Within the IT sector this is especially true of patents for Internet-related technologies where patenting is often the only way by which entry-barriers can be erected against competitors. This paper presents the analysis of Internet-related patent applications that have been filed under the Paris Cooperation Treaty (PCT) of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) by fourteen major international firms.[Working Paper No. 532]
    Keywords: Patents, Information Technology, Internet-related technologies, Paris Cooperation Treaty (PCT), World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), international firms
    Date: 2010
  2. By: David Cuberes (Dpto. Fundamentos del Análisis Económico); Luis Andrés (World Bank); Tomás Serebrisky (World Bank); Mame Astou Diouf (International Monetary Fund - IMF)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the process of Internet diffusion across the world using a panel of 214 countries during the period 1990-2004. Countries are classified as low and high-income and it is shown that the diffusion process is characterized by a different S-shape in each group. The estimated diffusion curves provide evidence of very slow "catching up". The paper also explores the determinants of Internet diffusion and shows that network effects are crucial to explain this process. One important finding is that the degree of competition in the provision of Internet contributes positively to its diffusion.
    Keywords: Technological diffusion, Internet, S-shape curve, Network externalities, Digital divide
    JEL: O14 O33 O57
    Date: 2010–03
  3. By: Ben Greiner (University of New South Wales, School of Economics, Sydney, Australia); Werner Güth (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group); Ro'i Zultan (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group)
    Abstract: We report on an experiment using video technology to manipulate pre-play communication protocols in the lab and to study purely social effects of communication on donations and discrimination between potential receivers. The experimental design eliminates strategic factors by allowing two receivers to unilaterally communicate with an anonymous dictator before the latter decides on her gifts. Through the use of three communication setups (none, audio, and audio-visual) we show and analyze the existence of purely social effects of communication. We find that a silent channel leads to discrimination between potential receivers based on impression formation, but does not affect average levels of donations. When the auditory channel is added, average donations increase. The social processes invoked are heterogeneous and communicator- specific but not unsystematic.
    Keywords: bargaining, communication, discrimination, n-person dictator game, video experiment
    JEL: C72 C91 D64
    Date: 2010–06–23
  4. By: Nicholas Economides (Stern School of Business, NYU)
    Abstract: This paper responds to arguments made in filings in the FCC’s broadband openness proceeding (GN Dkt. 09-191) and incorporates data made available since my January 14th filing in that proceeding. Newly available data confirm that there is limited competition in the broadband access marketplace. Contrary to some others’ arguments, wireless broadband access services are unlikely to act as effective economic substitutes for wireline broadband access services (whether offered by telephone companies or cable operators) and instead are likely to act as a complement. Nor will competition in the Internet backbone marketplace constrain broadband providers’ behavior in providing “last mile” broadband access services. The last mile, concentrated market structure, combined with high switching costs, provides last mile broadband network providers with the ability to engage in practices that will reduce social welfare in the absence of open broadband rules. Furthermore, the effect of open broadband rules on broadband provider revenues is likely to be small and can be either positive or negative. Unfortunately, various filings have misstated or mischaracterized the results on the economics of two-sided markets. Contrary to what some have argued, allowing broadband providers to charge third party content providers will not necessarily result in lower prices being charged to residential Internet subscribers. This is true under a robust set of assumptions. Despite some parties’ mischaracterization of the economic literature, price discrimination by broadband providers against third party applications and content providers will reduce societal welfare for numerous reasons. This reduction in societal welfare is especially acute when price discrimination is taken to the extreme of exclusive dealing between broadband providers and content providers. Antitrust and consumer protection laws are insufficient to protect societal welfare in the absence of open broadband rules.
    Keywords: Network Neutrality, Internet, Discrimination, Prioritization, Two-Sided Market, Market Power, Termination Fee, Broadband
    JEL: L1 D4 L12 L13 C63 D42 D43
    Date: 2010–04

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