We study the effect of market structure on a personal computer manufacturer’s decision to adopt new technology. This industry is unusual because there exist two horizontally segmented retail markets with different degrees of competition: the IBM-compatible (or PC) platform and the Apple platform. We first document that, relative to Apple, producers of PCs typically have more frequent technology adoption, shorter product cycles, and steeper price declines over the product cycle. We then develop a parsimonious vintage-capital model that matches the prices and sales of PC and Apple products. The model predicts that competition is the key driver of the rate at which technology is adopted.
Computer industry ; Technological innovations ; Competition
In this Article we compare the benefits of product liability to its costs and conclude that the case for product liability is weak for a wide range of products. One benefit of product liability is that it can induce firms to improve product safety. Even in the absence of product liability, however, firms would often be motivated by market forces to enhance product safety because their sales may fall if their products harm consumers. Moreover, products must frequently conform to safety regulations. Consequently, product liability might not exert a significant additional influence on product safety for many products â€” and empirical studies of several widely sold products lend support to this hypothesis. A second benefit of product liability is that it can improve consumer purchase decisions by causing product prices to increase to reflect product risks. But because of litigation costs and other factors, product liabi lity may raise prices excessively and undesirably chill purchases. A third benefit of product liability is that it compensates victims of product-related accidents for their losses. Yet this benefit is only partial, for accident victims are frequently compensated by insurers for some or all of their losses. Furthermore, the award of damages for pain and suffering tends to reduce the welfare of individuals because it effectively forces them to purchase insurance for a type of loss for which they ordinarily do not wish to be covered. Opposing the benefits of product liability are its costs, which are great. Notably, the transfer of a dollar to a victim of a product accident through the liability system requires more than a dollar on average in legal expenses. Given the limited nature of the benefits and the high costs of product liability, we come to the judgment that its use is often unwarranted. This is especially likely for products for which market forces and regulation ar e relatively strong, which includes many widely sold products. Our ge nerally skeptical assessment of product liability for such products is in tension with the broad social endorsement of this form of liability.
Health and Safety
Pricing Scheme Choice: How Process Affects Outcome
Standard price discrimination theories are based on the assumption that consumers use their future demand estimates to evaluate net utility of each pricing scheme and choose the scheme with the highest value. However, some evidence suggests that consumers might not always behave this way. The experiment presented in this paper shows that indeed a substantial proportion of subjects choose not to evaluate the net utility of the offered pricing schemes. Instead, they select from pricing schemes based on a comparison of the schemes’ parameters. Interestingly, this selection approach leads to the correct pricing-scheme choice when subjects are not well aware of their demand, and to the incorrect choice when they are. The results call for alternative theories of price discrimination and corresponding policy implications.
Using Japanese panel data for 2006-2009, this study attempts to examine how the pass rate of law school students taking the new bar examination influences the number of applicants for the law school in the following years. The major finding is that the higher the law school student pass rate, the greater the number of applicants for the law school becomes. Furthermore, the positive effect of the pass rate is larger for a prestigious university’s law school than for other schools. It follows that the “brand” and the school’s current performance are complementary in increasing demand for places in the law school.
Brand; Bar examination; Demand; Law school
Exploring Feasibility of Alternate Channels of Information Dissemination: Study of Rural Consumers Information Needs
Information plays a vital role in lives of individuals/groups for development and growth. Just information does not serve the purpose, but accurate information does. The sources/tools/techniques used to get the desired information have evolved from the foremost person-to-person interaction to the latest search engines on the World Wide Web. Thus options to obtain information have widened. Search engines have enabled to get information from any corner of the world to personâ€™s desktop within fraction of seconds. In this paper, we try to study the information needs of rural population in India. This research tries to understand types of information required and frequency of search for information among the rural population. The study attempts to understand whether, demand exists for â€˜information on demandâ€™ or search engine service itself would unlock a new untapped demand. [W.P. No.2008-05-01]
information, development, growth, Worlse Wide Web, rural population, frequency
Household Demand for Broadband Internet Service
Rosston, Gregory L.
Savage, Scott J.
Waldman, Donald M.
As part of the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) National Broadband Report to Congress, we have been asked to conduct a survey to help determine consumer valuations of different aspects of broadband Internet service. This report details our methodology, sample and preliminary results. We do not provide policy recommendations.<br><br>This draft report uses data obtained from a nationwide survey during late December 2009 and early January 2010 to estimate household demand for broadband Internet service. The report combines household data, obtained from choices in a real market and an experimental setting, with a discrete-choice model to estimate the marginal willingness-to-pay (WTP) for improvements in eight Internet service characteristics.
Technology and Industry
Glimmers and Signs of Innovative Health in the Commercial Internet
What are the signs of healthy behavior in an innovative industry? This seemingly simple question isnâ€™t so simple to answer in a quickly evolving industry such as the Internet. Commercial behavior resides inside a complex value chain, which is a set of interrelated activities that produces a final product for end users. No single firm controls the value chain, and the quality, price, and user experience arise from the complex interactions between those participants. Moreover, over time many parts of this value chain have undergone innovative improvements, and no reasonable observer expects those improvements to cease tomorrow. There is no agreement about which criteria observers and policy makers should use to assess the performance of the commercial Internet. Ever since the commercial Internet first emerged, there have been arguments about how to best organize its value chain to achieve maximum value for the most u sers. Disagreements have not diminished with time. If anything, this debate has grown shrill as the number of commercial interests and business commentators have grown. This essay makes a novel contribution to this topic. It identifies patterns of healthy commercial behavior indicative of an innovative industry, and illustrates how to observe signs of such behavior in information technology markets, such as the Internet. Stated broadly, the essay identifies healthy behavior that correlates with desirable marketwide outcomes, such as improvement in products, lower prices, new capabilities, or other innovations that lead to productivity improvements among business users.
Technology and Industry
Why the iPhone Won’t Last Forever and What the Government Should Do to Promote its Successor
Because of the overwhelming, positive response to the iPhone as compared to other smart phones, exclusive agreements between handset makers and wireless carriers have come under increasing scrutiny by regulators and lawmakers. In this paper, we document the myriad revolutions that have occurred in the mobile handset market over the past twenty years. Although casual observers have often claimed that a particular innovation was here to stay, they commonly are proven wrong by unforeseen developments in this fast-changing marketplace. We argue that exclusive agreements can play an important role in helping to ensure that another must-have device will soon come along that will supplant the iPhone, and generate large benefits for consumers. These agreements, which encourage risk taking, increase choice, and frequently lower prices, should be applauded by the government. In contrast, government regulation that would require for ced sharing of a successful break-through technology is likely to stifle innovation and hurt consumer welfare.