nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2016‒11‒06
six papers chosen by
Walter Frisch
Universität Wien

  2. Suchmaschinen unter der Lupe: Informationsherrschaft und ihre Schranken By Peitz, Martin; Schweitzer, Heike
  3. Price Competition in the Presence of a Web Aggregator By Oksana Loginova; Andrea Mantovani
  4. Weak Signals on the Future of Mobile Commerce in Russia By Ozcan Saritas; Leonid Gokhberg; Pavel Bakhtin; Ilya F. Kuzminov
  5. The Meaning of Digitalization for Research Skills: Challenges for Sti Policy By Meissner Dirk; Narkhova Anastasiia; Plekhanov Dmitry
  6. IDENTITY THEFT AS A TEACHABLE MOMENT By Blascak, Nathan; Cheney, Julia S.; Hunt, Robert M.; Mikhed, Vyacheslav; Ritter, Dubravka; Vogan, Michael

  1. By: Damien BROUSSOLLE (LaRGE Research Center, Université de Strasbourg)
    Abstract: The first section analyses European Union legal texts on the goods-services distinction. They view the former as tangible entities, while the latter covers all intangible ones. The writing of the key article on services in the EU main Treaty may also be confusing. The second section explains the new approach of the service that the economic analysis has developed, especially relevant in the context of the knowledge economy. The third section shows that the Single Market Digital Strategy of the European Commission faces difficulties caused by the outdated service definition it uses. The problems affect the VAT rate applicable to intangible goods, regarded as services (e.g. e-books vs. tangible books), and the Directives or Communications handling the provision of Digital Content. This concept, coined among other things to bypass the outdated definition, induces a contorted law treatment of intangible goods and, at least, undue contractual idiosyncrasies. Adopting the new economic approach of the serv ce would solve the problems underlined and help fostering the digital economy.
    JEL: L80 L86 K20 O34
    Date: 2016
  2. By: Peitz, Martin; Schweitzer, Heike
    Abstract: Suchmaschinen ermöglichen Nutzern einen schnellen Zugang zu Informationen, die sie konkret suchen oder die sie durch die Suchmaschine entdecken. Sie haben sich zu wichtigen Informationsintermediären entwickelt. Aufgrund ihrer zentralen Rolle in der Informationsvermittlung und der herausgehobenen Stellung von Google wird in der Öffentlichkeit die Frage nach einer Regulierung gestellt. Die "Informationsherrschaft" hat dabei verschiedene Seiten: Zum einen kann die unbegrenzte Auffindbarkeit personenbezogener Information mit den Interessen der Betroffenen kollidieren. Das "Interesse an der Unauffindbarkeit" ist Teil des allgemeinen Persönlichkeitsrechts und mittlerweile als ein "Recht auf Vergessen" anerkannt - das allerdings in Spannung zum ebenfalls grundrechtlich geschützten Informationsinteresse der Öffentlichkeit steht. Suchmaschinen müssen diese Interessen gegeneinander abwägen. Mit der "Regulierung" gegenläufiger informationeller Interessen obliegt ihnen eine schwierige Aufgabe. Zum anderen gibt es - nicht zuletzt im kommerziellen Bereich - häufig ein Interesse an der Auffindbarkeit, das berührt ist, wenn Information im Widerspruch zu Relevanzkriterien unterdrückt bzw. benachteiligt wird. Unter dem Begriff "Suchneutralität" ist gefordert worden, Suchmaschinen auch hinsichtlich der Auffindbarkeit von Information eine öffentliche Regulierungsfunktion zuzuweisen. In diesem Artikel sprechen wir uns gegen eine solche ex-ante-Regulierung aus. Das Wettbewerbsrecht reicht aus, um vor marktbezogenen Formen des Missbrauchs von "Informationsmacht" zu schützen. Mit Blick auf die vielfältigen offenen Fragen in der Anwendung des Wettbewerbsrechts zeigen wir einen neuen Ansatz auf. @Search engines allow users quick access to information, which they are trying to find or discover through the search engine. Thus, search engines have become important information intermediaries. Due to their central role in information exchange and the prominent role played by Google, part of the public debate focuses on the question whether - and if so how - there is a need for regulatory intervention. Informational power by search engines should be analyzed from different perspectives. On the one hand, unlimited access to personal data can be in conflict with the interests of individuals whose data can be accessed. These interests are part of a right to privacy, including a "right to be forgotten," which, however, must be balanced against the public interest in disclosure of information."'Regulating" these conflicting interests is a difficult task - a task that lies with the search engines. On the other hand, firms and individuals may have an interest in their information to be found, in particular (but not only) for commercial purposes. Suppressing or "downgrading" this information as displayed to users may significantly reduce visibility. In light of these interests, it has been proposed to oblige search engines to implement "search neutrality"; i.e., that they have to present search results in an unbiased way. In this article, we take a clear position against ex-ante regulation. Instead, competition law provides a sufficient framework, to protect against the abuse of "informational" market power. We sketch a new approach that may allow competition law to be applied more quickly in dynamic markets such as internet search markets.
    JEL: K20 K21 L40
    Date: 2016
  3. By: Oksana Loginova (Department of Economics, University of Missouri); Andrea Mantovani (Department of Economics, University of Bologna)
    Abstract: In this paper we examine the impact of a web aggregator on firms and consumers in a horizontally differentiated market. When a firm pays a fee to be listed on the aggregator's website, its location and price become observable to e-users (consumers who visit the website). We consider two settings, depending on the possibility for online firms to offer discounts to e-users. In equilibrium, not all firms will go online - some will choose to remain offline. Online firms attract more customers due to reduced mismatch costs, but face a tougher price competition. When the proportion of e-users is relatively low, price discrimination may hurt the firms. Therefore, less of them can afford to go online. The opposite holds when e-users predominate; price discrimination yields a higher number of online restaurants than uniform pricing. Finally, we evaluate the aggregator's optimal policy regarding the fee and whether to impose uniform pricing or to allow price discrimination. We discover that, unless the proportion of e-users is relatively low, the aggregator induces only a few restaurants to go online.
    Keywords: online reviews aggregators, price discrimination, competition
    JEL: C72 D43 D61 L11 L13 M31
    Date: 2015–03–12
  4. By: Ozcan Saritas (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Leonid Gokhberg (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Pavel Bakhtin (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Ilya F. Kuzminov (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: In parallel to the developments in the Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), mobile commerce (m-commerce) has become a large business and technology area with ever-growing market potentials. Comparable to the rest of the world, the m-commerce sector has been developing rapidly in Russia, which provides opportunities for domestic and international enterprises. There are a number of favorable conditions, such as major advancements in the software and smart devices industries, availability of a skilled workforce with a good educational base, a technology-prone society, and increasing public and corporate investments, which reinforce the development of m-commerce. The present study aims to explore the future trends and developments in the m-commerce sector, by focusing on the Weak Signals of emerging future developments in society, technology, economy, environment and policy. Using a combination of quantitative and qualitative techniques, the study reviews the evolution of the m-commerce in the world and in Russia, and then presents a set of 10 Weak Signals, which were generated using technology mining, patent analysis, literature review, interviews and consultations through expert workshops. The paper discusses future opportunities and threats concerning m-commerce along with critical technologies for Russia for the full exploitation of the potentials in the sector
    Keywords: Mobile commerce, Information and Communication Technologies, Weak Signals, Foresight, Russi
    JEL: Z
    Date: 2016
  5. By: Meissner Dirk (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Narkhova Anastasiia (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Plekhanov Dmitry (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper gives an overview of the impact of the current digital evolution of S&T systems, in particular on STI policies and research skills development. Within this context digitalization demonstrates strong impact on human capital and tangible assets (infrastructures and information processing tools etc.) by means of enhancing sources of new knowledge. Hence, challenges arise on the useful and proper utilization of numerous opportunities which emerged from digitalization. What are the new challenges for S&T systems caused by digitalization and what mechanisms could be implemented for system adaptation to them? What are the new research skills that are a high priority to acquire both by individuals and system as a whole? The paper argues that STI policy thus far hasn’t demonstrated sufficient responses to the changing requirements on researcher skills but remains at the infrastructural discussion.
    Keywords: Open access, open science, researcher skills, digitalization, STI policy
    JEL: O31 O38
    Date: 2016
  6. By: Blascak, Nathan (Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia); Cheney, Julia S. (Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia); Hunt, Robert M. (Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia); Mikhed, Vyacheslav (Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia); Ritter, Dubravka (Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia); Vogan, Michael (Moody's Analytics)
    Abstract: This paper examines how a negative shock to the security of personal finances due to severe identity theft changes consumer credit behavior. Using a unique data set of linked consumer credit data and alerts indicating identity theft, we show that the immediate effects of fraud on consumers are typically negative, small, and transitory. After those immediate effects fade, identity theft victims experience persistent, positive changes in credit characteristics, including improved risk scores (indicating lower default risk). We argue that these changes are consistent with increased salience of credit file information to the consumer at the time of severe identity theft.
    Keywords: inattention; salience; identity theft; extended fraud alert; risk score; consumer protection; credit report; Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA)
    JEL: D14 D18 G02
    Date: 2016–10–24

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