Hal R. Varian

  • Internet Publishing and Beyond

    Internet Publishing and Beyond

    The Economics of Digital Information and Intellectual Property

    Brian Kahin and Hal R. Varian

    This volume examines emerging economic and business models for global publishing and information access, as well as the attendant transformation of international information markets, institutions, and businesses. It provides those in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors with a practical framework for dealing with the new information markets.

    The rapid growth of the Internet and the World Wide Web is transforming the way information is accessed and used. New models for distributing, sharing, linking, and marketing information are appearing. This volume examines emerging economic and business models for global publishing and information access, as well as the attendant transformation of international information markets, institutions, and businesses. It provides those in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors with a practical framework for dealing with the new information markets. Topics addressed include the effects of various technological factors and market environments on pricing; the relationship among classic production costs, transaction costs, and the economic value of intellectual property; the effects of different pricing practices for telecommunications and Internet services on the pricing of information; the bundling and unbundling of information services; changing cost structures and the allocation of rights among authors, publishers, and other intermediaries; the effects of markets for complementary products and services, including advertising, on the pricing and use of information; and policy implications of different pricing models. A Publication of the Harvard Information Infrastructure Project in Collaboration with the School of Information Management and Systems at the University of California at Berkeley.

    • Paperback $6.75 £5.99

Contributor

  • Bandwagon Effects in High Technology Industries

    Bandwagon Effects in High Technology Industries

    Jeffrey H. Rohlfs

    Economists use the term "bandwagon effect" to describe the benefit a consumer enjoys as a result of others' using the same product or service. The history of videocassettes offers a striking example of the power of bandwagon effects. Originally there were two technical standards for videocassettes in the United States: Beta and VHS. Beta was widely regarded to have better picture quality, but VHS could record longer television programs. Eventually the selection of Beta cassettes shrank to zero, leaving consumers no choice but to get on the VHS bandwagon. The most successful bandwagon, apart from telephone service, is the Internet.

    In this book, Jeffrey Rohlfs shows how the dynamics of bandwagons differ from those of conventional products and services. They are difficult to get started and often fail before getting under way. A classic example of a marketing failure is the Picturephone, introduced by the Bell System in the early 1970s. Rohlfs describes the fierce battles waged by competitors when new services are introduced, as well as cases of early agreement on a single technical standard, as with CDs and CD players. He also discusses the debate among economists and policy analysts over the advantages and disadvantages of having governments set technical standards. The case studies include fax machines, telephones, CD players, VCRs, personal computers, television, and the Internet.

    • Hardcover $34.95 £24.95
    • Paperback $20.00 £14.99