nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2015‒04‒19
four papers chosen by
Walter Frisch
Universität Wien

  1. Do pirates play fair? Ethical judgment of unauthorized sports broadcasts By Michał Krawczyk; Joanna Tyrowicz; Anna Kukla-Gryz; Wojciech Hardy
  2. Problems in measuring price dispersion in e-commerce By Tomasz Galewski
  3. Application of modern information technologies in prevention of corruptive practices in an organisation By Agata Stachowicz-Stanusch; Joanna Machnik-Slomka
  4. The efficiency of private e-money-like systems: the U.S. experience with state bank notes By Weber, Warren E.

  1. By: Michał Krawczyk (Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw); Joanna Tyrowicz (Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw; National Bank of Poland); Anna Kukla-Gryz (Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw); Wojciech Hardy (Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw)
    Abstract: Ethical norms on the Internet are believed to be more permissive than in the ‘real’ world and this belief often serves as an explanation for the prevalence of the so-called digital “piracy”. In this study we provide evidence from a vignette experiment that contradicts this claim. Analyzing the case of sports broadcast, we compare explicitly the ethical judgment of legal and illegal sharing in the offline and online context. We find that the norms concerning legality, availability of alternatives and deriving material benefits from sharing content do not differ substantially between the virtual and real worlds. We also test explicitly for the role of legal awareness and find that emphasizing what is prohibited (copyright infringement) is less effective than focusing on what is permitted (fair use) in reducing the disparity between legal and ethical norms.
    Keywords: Internet piracy, file sharing, fair use, legal awareness, copynorms, vignette experiment
    JEL: K42 O34 L82
    Date: 2015
  2. By: Tomasz Galewski (Wroclaw University of Economics)
    Abstract: Until recently, Internet was considered as technology that will make the trade in goods frictionless. Online retailers’ margins were to fall to zero and prices - according to theory of economics - were to equalize as a result of buyers comparing prices more easily (e.g. using shop bots). Empirical research performed so far has not proven these expectations right. Studies in many countries show that online prices vary significantly (sometimes price dispersion in the Internet is higher than that in traditional trade). The purpose of this article is to present a critical view on the methods of measuring price dispersion in e-commerce. Researchers of this area use different measures of price differentials, include shipping costs or not, use the proposed price or try to determine transaction prices, reject part of the data considered as outliers that may indicate a hidden heterogeneity of a product. Some scientists also try to justify price dispersion with the reputation of a vendor, and also additional features of the sellers such as the amount of information presented in the offer, convenience of shopping, user-friendly interface, etc. All these factors are problematic for the research due to lack of a clear (and proper) way of measuring the mentioned attributes. Most of the previous studies also ignored the pricing strategy of vendors, which is a very important factor for price dispersion – it may involve reduction in prices of several products in order to attract customers to the store to buy other products with a much higher margin.
    Keywords: price dispersion, e-commerce, shopbots
    JEL: D40 D82 D83
    Date: 2015–04
  3. By: Agata Stachowicz-Stanusch (Silesian University of Technology); Joanna Machnik-Slomka (Silesian University of Technology)
    Abstract: The issue of corruption has recently become one of the most significant problems raised on the international scene. The discussion, currently conducted in different environments, places the issue of corruption in the centre of particular interest. In the world of research on corruption and its various forms there are multiple studies conducted by the representatives of different science disciplines. The researchers of management studies investigate corruption at both the individual and organizational level. The aspects of application of different methods and techniques by means of modern technologies are an important area of research on various aspects of corruption. The aim of the article is to analyse the possibility of application of modern tools in prevention of corrupting practices in an organization, particularly at the universities.
    Keywords: corruption, corrupting practices, ethics, information technology
    JEL: A11 A13 M14
    Date: 2015–04
  4. By: Weber, Warren E. (Bank of Canada, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta & University of South Carolina)
    Abstract: In the United States prior to 1863, each bank issued its own distinct notes. E-money shares many of the characteristics of these bank notes. This paper describes some lessons relevant to e-money from the U.S. experience with state bank notes. It examines historical evidence on how well the bank notes—a privately issued currency system with multiple issuers—functioned with respect to ease of transacting, counterfeiting, safety, overissuance, and par exchange. It finds that bank notes made transacting easier and were not subject to overissuance. However, counterfeiting of bank notes was widespread, bank notes were not perfectly safe, and notes of different banks did not exchange at par and rates of exchange were volatile. The paper also examines how bank notes were regulated and supervised and how that regulation and supervision affected the functioning of the system. The U.S. experience with state bank notes suggests that a privately issued e-money system can operate efficiently but only with appropriate government intervention, regulation, and supervision to minimize counterfeiting and to promote safety and par exchange.
    Keywords: bank notes; e-money; financial services
    JEL: E41 E42 E58
    Date: 2015–03–01

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