nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2011‒08‒29
three papers chosen by
Walter Frisch
University Vienna

  1. Civil Society 2.0?: How the Internet Changes State-Society Relations in Authoritarian Regimes: The Case of Cuba By Bert Hoffmann
  2. Learning from Seller Experiements in Online Markets By Liran Einav; Theresa Kuchler; Jonathan Levin; Neel Sundaresan
  3. Fibre Access: Network Developments in the OECD Area By OECD

  1. By: Bert Hoffmann
    Abstract: In the debate over the role of civil society under authoritarian regimes, the spread of transna-tional web-based media obliges us to rethink the arenas in which the societal voice can be raised—and heard. Taking the case of state-socialist Cuba, a diachronic comparison analyzes civil society dynamics prior to the Internet—in the early to mid-1990s, and a decade later, after digital and web-based media made their way onto the island. The study finds that in the pre-Internet period, the focus was on behind-the-scenes struggles for associational autonomy within the state-socialist framework. A decade later, web-based communication technologies have supported the emergence of a new type of public sphere in which the civil society debate is marked by autonomous citizen action. While this defies the socialist regime’s design of state–society relations, its effect on democratization depends on the extent to which a web-based voice connects with off-line public debate and social action.
    Date: 2011–01
  2. By: Liran Einav (Economics Department, Stanford University); Theresa Kuchler (Economics Department, Stanford University); Jonathan Levin (Economics Department, Stanford University); Neel Sundaresan (eBay Research Labs)
    Abstract: The internet has dramatically reduced the cost of varying prices, dis- plays and information provided to consumers, facilitating both active and passive experimentation. We document the prevalence of targeted pricing and auction design variation on eBay, and identify hundreds of thousands of experiments con- ducted by sellers across a wide array of retail products. We show how this type of data can be used to address questions about consumer behavior and market outcomes, and provide illustrative results on price dispersion, the frequency of over-bidding, the choice of reserve prices, ?buy now?options and other auction design parameters, and on consumer sensitivity to shipping fees. We argue that leveraging the experiments of market participants takes advantage of the scale and heterogeneity of online markets and can be a powerful approach for testing and measurement. Creation Date: 2011-08 Revision Date:
  3. By: OECD
    Abstract: This report examines recent developments regarding the use of fibre to provide local access networks for the provision of broadband access. Countries across the OECD are adopting different approaches to stimulate investment and to define the terms of competition to end-users in a Fibre to the Home/Building (FTTH/B) world.
    Date: 2011–06–16

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