nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2011‒08‒09
six papers chosen by
Walter Frisch
University Vienna

  1. Surfing Alone? The Internet and Social Capital: Evidence from an Unforeseen Technological Mistake By Stefan Bauernschuster; Oliver Falck; Ludger Wößmann
  2. Netzneutralität: Regulierungsbedarf? By Gersdorf, Hubertus
  3. Wettbewerb im Internet: Was ist online anders als offline? By Haucap, Justus; Wenzel, Tobias
  5. Can a click buy a little happiness? The impact of business-to-consumer e-commerce on subjective well-being By Sabatini Fabio
  6. Ökonomische Grundlagen des Wettbewerbs im Internet By Kruse, Jörn

  1. By: Stefan Bauernschuster; Oliver Falck; Ludger Wößmann
    Abstract: Does the Internet undermine social capital or facilitate inter-personal and civic engagement in the real world? Merging unique telecommunication data with geo-coded German individual-level data, we investigate how broadband Internet affects several dimensions of social capital. One identification strategy uses panel information to estimate value-added models. A second exploits a quasi-experiment in East Germany created by a mistaken technology choice of the state-owned telecommunication provider in the 1990s that still hinders broadband Internet access for many households. We find no evidence that the Internet reduces social capital. For some measures including children’s social activities, we even find significant positive effects.
    Keywords: Internet, social capital
    JEL: Z13 J24
    Date: 2011
  2. By: Gersdorf, Hubertus
    Abstract: In principle, all data on the Internet have so far been transmitted on the basis of best-effort, i.e. equally and without change, regardless of content, service, application, origin or destination. Quality of Service (QoS) has not been excluded, but has instead generally been limited to the access network of the Internet Service Provider (access-ISP) (IPTV, VoIP etc.). Now, the ISPs plan to offer such a QoS on the Internet as well by means of various prioritised transport groups. These QoS transport groups are not supposed to displace, but rather to complement the best effort area (QoS and best effort). Hereby the ISP first expect to participate more in the added value of the Internet. Secondly, the problems caused by the bottleneck for time-critical services and other forms of QoS (IPTV, VoIP, gaming etc.) are to be eliminated. Thirdly, various transport groups and various groups of products (IPTV, VOD, interactive services such as gaming etc.) characterised by specific technical features of performance and features of quality are to be composed and marketed by the ISP to the content provider, to the service provider and to the consumer. In order to guarantee such QoS on the Internet, the ISP have to agree on crossnetwork technical standards for QoS. --
    Date: 2011
  3. By: Haucap, Justus; Wenzel, Tobias
    Abstract: Das Internet ist stark durch Wettbewerb zwischen Plattformen geprägt, welche potenzielle Tauschpartner zusammenbringen. Die Konkurrenz zwischen solchen mehrseitigen Plattformen und die Marktkonzentration wird maßgeblich bestimmt durch (1) die Stärke der indirekten Netzeffekte, (2) das Ausmaß steigender Skaleneffekte, (3) Überlastungsgefahren, (4) Differenzierung der Plattformen und (5) die Möglichkeit des sogenannten Multihoming. Je nach Ausprägung dieser Faktoren ergeben sich unterschiedliche Konzentrationstendenzen und Markteintrittsbarrieren. Pauschal lässt sich zwar nicht feststellen, dass im Internet besonders viele dauerhaft resistente Monopole anzutreffen wären und ein besonderer Regulierungsbedarf besteht. Gleichwohl zeigt sich, dass einzelne Plattformen wie z.B. ebay auf manchen Märkten durchaus beträchtliche Marktmacht besitzen, die aufgrund erheblicher Markteintrittsbarrieren auch nicht schnell erodieren wird. -- The Internet is characterized by competition between platforms which bring together potential partners of exchange. The degree of competition between these multi-sided platforms und market concentration are determined through (1) the strength of the direct and indirect network effects, (2) the extent of economies of scale, (3) the risk of congestition, (4) platform differentiation, and (5) the possibility of multi-homing. Depending on these factors different market concentrations and barriers to entry result. While there is no general tendency for concentration in the Internet and no general need for special market regulation of online content providers and intermediaries, single platforms may still have long lasting and significant market power which is unlikely to erode fastly, as the example of ebay illustrate.
    Date: 2011
  4. By: Shahram Salavati (Faculty of business administration, Islamic Azad University, Tonekabon Branch, Iran); Noor Hazarina Hashim (Faculty of Management and Human Resource Development, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia)
    Abstract: This study investigates website adoption and performance among Iranian hotels. Using content analysis technique, this study identifies the presence of 28 website features on 57 Iranian hotels. The results found Iranian hotels are at very early stage of Internet adoption. E-commerce activities are very minimal among the Iranian hotels as none of the hotels provide online reservation. This study adds to the limited study of e-commerce and hospitality in Iran.
    Keywords: E-tourism, Website, Evaluation, Hotel, Iran
    JEL: M0
    Date: 2011–03
  5. By: Sabatini Fabio
    Abstract: This paper presents the first empirical investigation into the effect of e-shopping on subjective well-being. The analysis relies on a nationally and regionally representative dataset from Italy (n = 4,130) drawn from the 2008 wave of the Survey of Household Income and Wealth (SHIW) carried out by the Bank of Italy. Probit, OLS regressions and instrumental variables estimates show that e-shopping is strongly and positively associated with subjective well-being.
    Date: 2011–07
  6. By: Kruse, Jörn
    Abstract: The main internet problem is how to deal with temporary overload, which negatively affects quality-sensitive high value services while others do not suffer. Capacity overprovisioning als well as volume tariffs will not be efficient. The optimal solution is the application of priority pricing, where higher prices are paid for higher qualities. This is economically superior to network management as well as to strict net neutrality. --
    Date: 2011

This nep-ict issue is ©2011 by Walter Frisch. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.