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How Does Content Aggregation Affect Users' Search for Information?

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Abstract

The digital revolution has dramatically reduced search costs for information. Consumers can now access information that is aggregated from many sources. We ask whether aggregators encourage users to ``skim" or investigate content in depth. We exploit a contract dispute that led a major aggregator to remove content from a content provider. We find that after the removal, users were less likely to investigate additional content in depth. Further analysis suggests that the presence of information benefited either very national or local content the most. Our study is the first to measure how new communications technology affects information gathered by consumers.

Suggested Citation

  • Lesley Chiou & Catherine Tucker, 2011. "How Does Content Aggregation Affect Users' Search for Information?," Working Papers 11-18, NET Institute, revised Oct 2011.
  • Handle: RePEc:net:wpaper:1118
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    File URL: http://www.netinst.org/Chiou_Tucker_11_18.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Sinai, Todd & Waldfogel, Joel, 2004. "Geography and the Internet: is the Internet a substitute or a complement for cities?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 1-24, July.
    2. Goldfarb, Avi & Prince, Jeff, 2008. "Internet adoption and usage patterns are different: Implications for the digital divide," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 2-15, March.
    3. Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2011. "Ideological Segregation Online and Offline," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(4), pages 1799-1839.
    4. Susan Athey & Emilio Calvano & Joshua Gans, 2013. "The Impact of the Internet on Advertising Markets for News Media," NBER Working Papers 19419, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. J. Yannis Bakos, 1997. "Reducing Buyer Search Costs: Implications for Electronic Marketplaces," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 43(12), pages 1676-1692, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Larbi Alaoui & Fabrizio Germano, 2012. "Time scarcity and the market for news," Economics Working Papers 1348, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Sep 2014.
    2. Stühmeier, Torben, 2012. "Target Advertising and Market Transparency," Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 62021, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    News; Online; Search;

    JEL classification:

    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software

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