nep-net New Economics Papers
on Network Economics
Issue of 2006‒02‒12
eight papers chosen by
Yi-Nung Yang
Chung Yuan Christian University

  1. Networks and Innovation : A Survey of Empirical Literature. By Müge Ozman
  2. Deregulating Network Industries: Dealing with Price-Quality Tradeoffs By Stefan Buehler; Dennis Gaertner; Daniel Halbheer
  3. On The Role of Access Charges Under Network Competition By Stefan Buehler; Armin Schmutzler
  4. Knowledge networks and innovative performance in an industrial district. The case of a footwear district in the South of Italy By Ron A. Boschma; Anne L.W. ter Wal
  5. Networks and heterogeneous performance of cluster firms By Elisa Giuliani
  6. Learning from others and receiving support: the impact of personal networks on fertility intentions in Poland By Christoph Bühler; Ewa Fratczak
  7. Zur Bedeutung sozialen Kapitals für Fertilitätsentscheidungen: theoretische und empirische Darstellungen am Beispiel Bulgariens By Christoph Bühler; Dimiter Philipov
  8. An evolutionary perspective on Internet adoption by retailers in the Netherlands By Ron A. Boschma; Jesse W.J. Weltevreden

  1. By: Müge Ozman
    Abstract: Networks are now understood to be an important mechanism to change economic and social outcomes through non-market means, and one of these outcomes is the contribution of networks to innovation and technological change in general. This survey covers the recent literature on networks as far as they have implications for knowledge transfer among actors, innovation and technological change. We present a recent survey of empirical research, covering inter-firm and intra-firm networks, since these are accepted to have the most important impact on knowledge dissemination and innovation. One important conclusion that can be derived from the survey is that, although there exists a tremendous increase in network research, it is still difficult in most cases to draw robust conclusions and generalizable results. Therefore, one of the aims of this survey is to highlight those areas in which some consensus has been achieved in the literature, and others which need more attention and research in the future.
    Date: 2006
  2. By: Stefan Buehler (Socioeconomic Institute, University of Zurich); Dennis Gaertner (Socioeconomic Institute, University of Zurich); Daniel Halbheer (Socioeconomic Institute, University of Zurich)
    Abstract: This paper examines the e®ects of introducing competition into monopolized network industries on prices and infrastructure quality. Analyzing a model with reduced-form demand, we ¯rst show that deregulating an integrated monopoly cannot simultaneously decrease the retail price and increase infrastructure quality. Second, we derive conditions under which reducing both retail price and infrastructure quality relative to the integrated monopoly outcome increases welfare. Third, we argue that restructuring and setting very low access charges may yield welfare losses, as infrastructure investment is undermined. We provide an extensive analysis of the linear demand model and discuss policy implications.
    Keywords: infrastructure quality, deregulation, investment incentives, access charges, regulation
    JEL: D43 L43
    Date: 2004–01
  3. By: Stefan Buehler (Socioeconomic Institute, University of Zurich); Armin Schmutzler (Socioeconomic Institute, University of Zurich)
    Abstract: We aim to clarify the role of access charges under two-way network competition, employing a reduced-form approach. Retaining the key features of specific network competition models but imposing less structure, we analyze the impact of changes in access charges on linear and non-linear retail prices. We derive su.cient conditions for usage fees to be increasing (and subscriber charges to be decreasing) in access charges. These conditions are shown to be satisfied only under rather restrictive assumptions on the demand for calls, suggesting that implementing collusion by inflating access charges is likely to be nonfeasible.
    Keywords: network competition, two-way access, collusion, nonlinear retail prices
    JEL: D43 L43
    Date: 2005–01
  4. By: Ron A. Boschma; Anne L.W. ter Wal
    Abstract: The traditional district literature tends to assume that: (1) the competitiveness of firms depends on external sources of knowledge; (2) all firms in a district benefit from knowledge externalities; (3) relying on external knowledge relationships necessarily means these are confined to the district area. Our case study of the Barletta footwear district in the South of Italy suggests otherwise. Based on social network analysis, we demonstrate that the local knowledge network is quite weak and unevenly distributed among the local firms. A strong local network position of a firm tended to increase their innovative performance, and so did their connectivity to extra-local firms. So, it mattered being connected either locally or non-locally: being co-located was surely not enough. Having a high absorptive capacity seemed to raise only indirectly, through non-local relationships, the innovative performance of firms.
    Keywords: evolutionary economics, new economic geography, social networks, innovative performance, Italy
    Date: 2006–01
  5. By: Elisa Giuliani
    Abstract: This paper explores the relationship existing among the heterogeneous nature of firms in industrial clusters, their structural position in knowledge networks and their performance. Following the rising interest for spatially agglomerated industrial firms and their learning and innovative potential the paper shows empirically that the performance of firms in clusters is related with firm-level knowledge endowments and their position in the knowledge network using firm-level data on three wine clusters.
    Keywords: knowledge networks, clusters, firm performance, evolutionary economics, wine sector
    Date: 2006–01
  6. By: Christoph Bühler (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Ewa Fratczak
    Abstract: Research about fertility has focused in the main on studying separately the influences of communication networks and social capital on reproductive behavior, but it has rarely tried to integrate both network properties theoretically or analytically. We therefore discuss a general model of purposeful behavior that perceives individuals’ subjective perceptions of the utilities of different courses of action to be affected by structures of interpersonal influence. Resources needed to realize desired goals are furthermore shaped by exchange relationships that build social capital. These considerations are empirically applied to explanations of the intentions of 758 Polish men and women ever to have a first, second, or third child. Personal networks are especially relevant for the considerations to have a first or a second child. The intentions of childless respondents are positively influenced by network partners that are in a similar stage of their reproductive biographies or that have already taken the step of having a first child. However, respondents with one child intend to have a second child with a higher probability the more they have access to fertility-related social capital. (Keywords: interpersonal influence, social capital, fertility, rational choice, behavioral intentions, Poland)
    Keywords: Poland, fertility determinants, influence, interpersonal communication, social capital, social network
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2005–07
  7. By: Christoph Bühler (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Dimiter Philipov (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    Abstract: Models on the impact of social networks on reproductive behavior primarily address processes of interpersonal influence on fertility related values and utility perceptions and consider aspects of social support and social capital only to a small extend. On the basis of an exchange theoretical definition of social capital it is argued that general resources like money, time, or active help generate social capital that is relevant for fertility decisions, because they help to reduce the costs of having children and stabilize the economic situation of a household. Data from 2002 on the fertility intentions of 2,016 Bulgarian women support this association. The availability of supportive resources has a positive impact on women’s intentions to have a second or third child. However, the availability of these resources does not significantly matter for the intended timing of birth. The embeddedness in kin-based exchange systems of indirect reciprocity also positively influence women’s fertility intentions. This result also highlights the significance of parents as sources of intergenerational transfers and support. (Keywords: Social capital, fertility, Bulgaria, exchange theory, reciprocity)
    Keywords: Bulgaria, fertility determinants, social capital, social network
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2004–08
  8. By: Ron A. Boschma; Jesse W.J. Weltevreden
    Abstract: The paper analyses from an evolutionary perspective how retailers respond and adapt to b2c e-commerce. As such, the paper explores the diversity of behavior of retailers with respect to the adoption of e-commerce. More in particular, it examines empirically the extent to which the adoption of Internet strategies is affected by firm-specific features (e.g., habits of the entrepreneur, routines of firms), network relationships, and geographical proximity. Logistic regression analyses of 643 independent retailers in the Netherlands suggest that geography matters, controlling for other factors. That is, the probability of having an Internet strategy increases significantly when (a) the more knowledge spillovers are locally available; (b) the more demanding local customers are; and (c), the less rivalry is present locally.
    Keywords: evolutionary economics, Internet strategies, retailers, city centres, the Netherlands
    JEL: A12 D21 L81 R00
    Date: 2006–01

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