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Net Neutrality and Investment Incentives

This paper analyzes the effects of net neutrality regulation on investment incentives for Internet service providers (ISPs) and content providers (CPs), and their implications for social welfare. We show that the ISP's decision on the introduction of discrimination across content depends on a potential trade-off between network access fee and the revenue from the trade of the first-priority. Concerning the ISP's investment incentives, we find that capacity expansion affects the sale price of the priority right under the discriminatory regime. Because the relative merit of the first priority, and thus its value, becomes relatively small for higher capacity levels, the ISP's incentive to invest on capacity under a discriminatory network can be smaller than that under a neutral regime where such rent extraction effects do not exist. Contrary to ISPs' claims that net neutrality regulations would have a chilling effect on their incentive to invest, we cannot dismiss the possibility of the opposite. Classification-JEL: D4, L12, L4, L43, L51, L52

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File URL: http://www.netinst.org/Choi_Kim_08-03.pdf
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Paper provided by NET Institute in its series Working Papers with number 08-03.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:net:wpaper:0803
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.NETinst.org/

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  4. Nicholas Economides & Joacim Tåg, 2007. "Net Neutrality on the Internet: A Two-sided Market Analysis," Working Papers 07-45, NET Institute, revised Nov 2007.
  5. Jong-Hee Hahn, 2002. "Damaged Durable Goods," Keele Economics Research Papers KERP 2002/21, Centre for Economic Research, Keele University.
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  9. Viktória Kocsis & Paul Bijl, 2007. "Network neutrality and the nature of competition between network operators," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 159-184, August.
  10. Naor, P, 1969. "The Regulation of Queue Size by Levying Tolls," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 37(1), pages 15-24, January.
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  12. Nicholas Economides, 2007. "“Net Neutrality,” Non-Discrimination and Digital Distribution of Content Through the Internet," Working Papers 07-03, NET Institute.
  13. Edelson, Noel M & Hildebrand, David K, 1975. "Congestion Tolls for Poisson Queuing Processes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 43(1), pages 81-92, January.
  14. K. R. Balachandran, 1972. "Purchasing Priorities in Queues," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 18(5-Part-1), pages 319-326, January.
  15. Tommaso M. Valletti & Carlo Cambini, 2005. "Investments and Network Competition," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(2), pages 446-468, Summer.
  16. Choi, Jay Pil, 1995. "Optimal tariffs and the choice of technology Discriminatory tariffs vs. the 'Most Favored Nation' clause," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(1-2), pages 143-160, February.
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