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Economic Experiments and Neutrality in Internet Access

In: Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 8

Economic experiments yield lessons to firms that can be acquired only through market experience. Economic experiments cannot take place in a laboratory; scientists, engineers, or marketing executives cannot distill equivalent lessons from simply building a prototype or interviewing potential customers and vendors. The historical record illustrates that economic experiments were important for value creation in Internet access markets. In general, industry-wide returns from economic experiments exceed private returns, with several important exceptions. Those conclusions motivate an inquiry into whether regulatory policy can play a role in fostering the creation of value. The net neutrality debate is reinterpreted through this lens. A three part test is proposed for encouraging economic experiments from both broadband carriers and providers of complementary services.

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This chapter was published in:
  • Adam B. Jaffe & Josh Lerner & Scott Stern, 2008. "Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 8," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number jaff08-1.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 5302.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:5302
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    1. Annabelle Gawer & Rebecca Henderson, 2005. "Platform Owner Entry and Innovation in Complementary Markets: Evidence from Intel," NBER Working Papers 11852, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Alleman, James & Rappoport, Paul, 2005. "Regulatory Failure: Time for a New Policy Paradigm," MPRA Paper 2517, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Bruce Owen, 2007. "The Net Neutrality Debate: Twenty Five Years after United States v. AT&T and 120 Years after the Act to Regulate Commerce," Discussion Papers 06-015, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
    4. Thomas Downes & Shane Greenstein, 2006. "Understanding Why Universal Service Obligations May Be Unnecessary: The Private Development of Local Internet Access Markets," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0615, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
    5. Farrell, Joseph & Weiser, Philip J., 2003. "Modularity, Vertical Integration, and Open Access Policies: Towards a Convergence of Antitrust and Regulation in the Internet Age," Competition Policy Center, Working Paper Series qt5ps3f7p9, Competition Policy Center, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    6. Jerry A. Hausman & J. Gregory Sidak & HalJ. Singer, 2001. "Cable Modems and DSL: Broadband Internet Access for Residential Customers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 302-307, May.
    7. Ashish Arora & Andrea Fosfuri & Alfonso Gambardella, 2004. "Markets for Technology: The Economics of Innovation and Corporate Strategy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262511819.
    8. Tom Downes & Shane Greenstein, 2000. "Universal Access and Local Commercial Internet Markets," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0017, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
    9. Stranger, Greg & Greenstein, Shane, 2008. "Pricing in the shadow of firm turnover: ISPs during the 1990s," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 625-642, May.
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