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Self-regulation and the Certification of the European Information Economy The Case of e-Healthcare Information Provision

  • Marcus Alexander
  • Matthew C. Harding
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    The trend towards Internet self-regulation is driven both by governments that feel reluctant to invest in direct regulation (because of freedom of speech concerns or high costs of monitoring and enforcement) and by the industry that is under the threat of rising public concerns over content (protection of minors, hate speech, e-business confidence). Our first model explores how firms voluntarily commit themselves to industry-wide or global codes of conduct and reporting initiatives. Then we analyze certification mechanisms through which firms can credibly signal their commitment to self-regulation schemes in the absence of government enforced regulatory standards and use the theoretical results to analyze the logic of current decision making in this area at the European level. Throughout, we illustrate these concepts with a large number of global examples and more detailed European level studies.

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    Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number 154.

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    Date of creation: 01 Apr 2003
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    Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:154
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    1. Guerra, G.A., 2001. "Certification Disclosure And Informational Efficiency: A Case For Ordered Ranking Of Levels," Economics Series Working Papers 9964, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    2. Albano, Gian Luigi & Lizzeri, Alessandro, 2001. "Strategic Certification and Provision of Quality," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 42(1), pages 267-83, February.
    3. Taylor, Curtis R, 1995. "The Economics of Breakdowns, Checkups, and Cures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(1), pages 53-74, February.
    4. Blackman, Allen & Boyd, James, 1999. "Tailored Regulation: Will Voluntary Site-Specific Performance Standards Necessarily Improve Welfare?," Discussion Papers dp-00-03-rev, Resources For the Future.
    5. Lutz, Stefan & Lyon, Thomas P & Maxwell, John W, 2000. "Quality Leadership When Regulatory Standards Are Forthcoming," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(3), pages 331-48, September.
    6. Witt, Ulrich, 1997. "Self-organization and economics--what is new?," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 489-507, October.
    7. Kraakman, Reiner H, 1986. "Gatekeepers: The Anatomy of a Third-Party Enforcement Strategy," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 2(1), pages 53-104, Spring.
    8. Luanne Lohr, 1998. "Implications of Organic Certification for Market Structure and Trade," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1125-1129.
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