Can the conventional models apply? : the microeconomics of the information revolution

by Bruce W. Don, David R. Frelinger

Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price
Add to Cart Paperback9 pages Free

Operating with incorrect assumptions concerning information firms and how they conduct commerce has significant public policy implications. One possible consequence is inappropriate anti-trust (or inaction) by government regulators. Because the decision to enforce is essentially Boolean in nature and can have long-term impacts on the industry, it is important to base regulatory and other public policy decisions on appropriate models. This paper argues that there are importantly different microeconomic paradigms applicable to information-based commerce. These differences should be investigated in some depth to inform future policy decisions affecting information-based enterprises and economies based on their commerce. Such research may lead to significant improvements in our ability to make good public policy decisions on issues that will challenge us as our society adapts to the changes in commerce brought about by information technology.

Originally published in: First USENIX Workshop on Electronic Commerce Proceedings, July 1995, pp. 23-31.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Reprint series. The Reprint was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1992 to 2011 that represented previously published journal articles, book chapters, and reports with the permission of the publisher. RAND reprints were formally reviewed in accordance with the publisher's editorial policy and compliant with RAND's rigorous quality assurance standards for quality and objectivity. For select current RAND journal articles, see External Publications.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/principles.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.