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online platforms, economics of

Author

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  • Alexander White

Abstract

Following the Internet’s widespread adoption, much economic work has studied ‘online platforms’: firms that mainly interact with consumers in cyberspace. This article surveys such work, focusing on the ways in which traditional economic models have been adapted to incorporate novel aspects made relevant by the Internet. This literature can be divided roughly into two categories: broad-brush study of the competition between platforms and more fine-grained study of the ways in which users and platforms interact with one another. The former focuses on extending oligopoly theory to include ‘consumption externalities’; the latter extends auction and search theory to a world of precisely measureable actions.

Suggested Citation

  • Alexander White, 2012. "online platforms, economics of," The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:dofeco:v:6:year:2012:doi:3885
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    File URL: http://www.dictionaryofeconomics.com/article?id=pde2012_O000112
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    Cited by:

    1. Tomlin, Brian, 2014. "Managing supply-demand risk in global production: Creating cost-effective flexible networks," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 57(4), pages 509-519.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    consumption externalities; economics of the Internet; electronic commerce; multi-sided platforms; network effects; search engines; social networks; sponsored search auctions; two-sided markets;

    JEL classification:

    • D40 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - General
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • L10 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - General
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation

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