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Fixed Costs, Product Variety, an Welfare on the Internet

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  • Guillermo Israilevich

    (independent Consultan.)

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    Abstract

    The impact of product variety on welfare has received little attention in the electronic commerce literature. The problem with product variety is that more variety does not necessarily imply higher welfare. This paper finds the conditions under which more variety, if caused by lower fixed costs, implies an unambiguous welfare gain. A calibration to the market of books confirms the intuition that fixed costs –in particular, per-title fixed costs–are much lower at online stores than at conventional stores and that the welfare gains from electronic commerce are likely to be underestimated if one ignores changes in product variety.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Ilades-Georgetown University, Universidad Alberto Hurtado/School of Economics and Bussines in its journal Revista de Analisis Economico.

    Volume (Year): 23 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 2 (Diciembre)
    Pages: 121-141

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    Handle: RePEc:ila:anaeco:v:23:y:2008:i:2:p:121-141

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    Related research

    Keywords: Fixed Costs; Product Variety; Electronic Commerce; Welfare; Internet.;

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