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The Effects of E-commerce on the Structure of Intermediation


  • Stefan W. Schmitz

    (ICE, Austrian Academy of Sciences)


The paper questions the notion that the diffusion of electronic commerce will lead to disintermediation. Rather than interpreting intermediation as a single service it is pointed out that intermediaries can provide a number of services. The analysis based on the New Institutional Economics, Market Microstructure Theory, and Information Economics shows that the three intermediation services studied are, generally, not under threat by the diffusion of electronic commerce. The overall effects on intermediation depend on the relevance of these services relative to others (e.g. order processing) which are supposed to become obsolete.

Suggested Citation

  • Stefan W. Schmitz, 2002. "The Effects of E-commerce on the Structure of Intermediation," Industrial Organization 0211002, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpio:0211002
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; prepared on wordfile on mac; pages: 36; figures: none. Will be published in C. Steinfield (ed.), New Directions in Research on E-Commerce, Purdue University Press, West Lafayette, Indianna (forthcoming)

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    Cited by:

    1. Pierre Volle, 2002. "Produit et information géographique : le géomerchandising," Post-Print halshs-00165165, HAL.

    More about this item


    B2C eCommerce; intermediation; new institutional economics;

    JEL classification:

    • L - Industrial Organization
    • L - Industrial Organization
    • B - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology

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