nep-ind New Economics Papers
on Industrial Organization
Issue of 2019‒07‒22
four papers chosen by
Kwang Soo Cheong
Johns Hopkins University

  1. Zero-rating and vertical content foreclosure By Jeitschko, Thomas D.; Kim, Soo Jin; Yankelevich, Aleksandr
  2. Are Price-Cost Markups Rising in the United States? A Discussion of the Evidence By Susanto Basu
  3. E-commerce as a Potential New Engine for Growth in Asia By Tidiane Kinda
  4. Micro-work, artificial intelligence and the automotive industry By Paola Tubaro; Antonio Casilli

  1. By: Jeitschko, Thomas D.; Kim, Soo Jin; Yankelevich, Aleksandr
    Abstract: We study zero-rating, a practice whereby an Internet service provider (ISP) that limits retail data consumption exempts certain content from that limit. This practice is particularly controversial when an ISP zero-rates its own vertically integrated content, because the data limit and ensuing overage charges impose an additional cost on rival content. We find that zero-rating and vertical integration are complementary in improving social welfare, though potentially at the expense of lower profit to an unaffiliated content provider. Moreover, allowing content providers to pay for zero-rating via a sponsored data plan raises welfare by inducing the ISP to zero-rate more content.
    Keywords: Data Caps,Sponsored Data,Two-Sided Market,Vertical Content Foreclosure,Zero-Rating
    JEL: D43 L11 L42
    Date: 2019
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:zbw:dicedp:317&r=all
  2. By: Susanto Basu
    Abstract: A number of recent papers have argued that US firms exert increasing market power, as measured by their markups of price over marginal cost. I review three of the main approaches to estimating economy-wide markups and show that all are based on the hypothesis of firm cost-minimization. Yet different assumptions and methods of implementation lead to quite different conclusions regarding the levels and trends of markups. I survey the literature critically, and argue that some of the startling findings of steeply-rising markups are difficult to reconcile with other evidence and with aggregate data. Existing methods cannot determine whether markups have been stable or whether they have risen modestly over the past several decades. Even relatively small increases in markups are consistent with significant changes in aggregate outcomes, such as the observed decline in labor’s share of national income.
    JEL: E23 E32 L11 L16
    Date: 2019–07
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:nbr:nberwo:26057&r=all
  3. By: Tidiane Kinda
    Abstract: The use of e-commerce around the world has accelerated in recent years, with Asia, led by China, spearheading the rise. Using cross-country enterprise survey data, this paper shows that firms engaged in e-commerce have higher productivity and generate a larger share of their revenues from exports than other firms. This is particularly true in Asia, where firms have 30 percent higher productivity and generate about 50 percent more of their revenues from exports. The results presented in this paper are robust to the use of instrumental variables, which highlight possible larger effects of e-commerce on Asian productivity and exports when essential elements are in place for its effective use, such as reliable electricity, telecommunication, and transport infrastructure. Despite the rapid growth of e-commerce in recent years, gaps persist in digital infrastructure and legislation, preventing many Asian countries from fully reaping the potential benefits of e-commerce.
    Date: 2019–07–01
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:imf:imfwpa:19/135&r=all
  4. By: Paola Tubaro (LRI - Laboratoire de Recherche en Informatique - UP11 - Université Paris-Sud - Paris 11 - Inria - Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en Automatique - CentraleSupélec - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, TAU - TAckling the Underspecified - LRI - Laboratoire de Recherche en Informatique - UP11 - Université Paris-Sud - Paris 11 - Inria - Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en Automatique - CentraleSupélec - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UP11 - Université Paris-Sud - Paris 11 - Inria Saclay - Ile de France - Inria - Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en Automatique - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Antonio Casilli (I3, une unité mixte de recherche CNRS (UMR 9217) - Institut interdisciplinaire de l’innovation - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - X - École polytechnique - Télécom ParisTech - MINES ParisTech - École nationale supérieure des mines de Paris, Télécom ParisTech)
    Abstract: This paper delves into the human factors in the "back-office" of artificial intelligence and of its data-intensive algorithmic underpinnings. We show that the production of AI is a labor-intensive process, which particularly needs the little-qualified, inconspicuous and low-paid contribution of "micro-workers" who annotate, tag, label, correct and sort the data that help to train and test smart solutions. We illustrate these ideas in the high-profile case of the automotive industry, one of the largest clients of digital data-related micro-working services, notably for the development of autonomous and connected cars. This case demonstrates how micro-work has a place in long supply chains, where tech companies compete with more traditional industry players. Our analysis indicates that the need for micro-work is not a transitory, but a structural one, bound to accompany the further development of the sector; and that its provision involves workers in different geographical and linguistic areas, requiring the joint study of multiple platforms operating at both global and local levels.
    Keywords: Artificial intelligence,Micro-work,Automotive industry,Digital platform economy,Organization of work
    Date: 2019–06–05
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:hal:journl:hal-02148979&r=all

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