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The Effects of Business-to-Business E-Commerce on Transaction Costs


  • Garicano, Luis
  • Kaplan, Steven N


This paper studies transaction costs changes arising from the introduction of the Internet in transactions between firms. We divide transaction costs into coordination costs and motivation costs. We classify coordination efficiencies into three categories: process improvements, marketplace benefits, and indirect improvements. For motivation costs, we focus on informational asymmetries. We apply this framework to internal data from an Internet-based firm to measure process improvements, marketplace benefits, and motivation costs. Our results suggest potentially large process improvements and marketplace benefits. We find little evidence that informational asymmetries are more important in the electronic marketplace than in the existing physical ones. Copyright 2001 by Blackwell Publishing Ltd

Suggested Citation

  • Garicano, Luis & Kaplan, Steven N, 2001. "The Effects of Business-to-Business E-Commerce on Transaction Costs," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(4), pages 463-485, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jindec:v:49:y:2001:i:4:p:463-85

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bond, Eric W, 1982. "A Direct Test of the "Lemons" Model: The Market for Used Pickup Trucks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(4), pages 836-840, September.
    2. Francine Lafontaine, 1992. "Agency Theory and Franchising: Some Empirical Results," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 23(2), pages 263-283, Summer.
    3. Erin Anderson, 1985. "The Salesperson as Outside Agent or Employee: A Transaction Cost Analysis," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 4(3), pages 234-254.
    4. Francine Lafontaine & Margaret E. Slade, 1998. "Incentive Contracting and the Franchise Decision," NBER Working Papers 6544, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Masten, Scott E & Crocker, Keith J, 1985. "Efficient Adaptation in Long-term Contracts: Take-or-Pay Provisions for Natural Gas," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(5), pages 1083-1093, December.
    6. George A. Akerlof, 1970. "The Market for "Lemons": Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500.
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    JEL classification:

    • D2 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations
    • D4 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design


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