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A Penny for your Thoughts: E-Mail and the Under-Valuation of Expert Time

Author

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  • Willmore, C.

Abstract

The cost incurred by the sender of an e-mail does not reflect the costs to the recipient, leading to a larger number of messages being sent than is optimal for the general welfare. As a solution, we suggest a per-message e-mail tax on the sender similar to that proposed by Shiman (1996), with the addition of a recipient-determined 'contact list'. The recipient derives utility from messages sent by those on this list, and they are not to be taxed when sending messages to the recipient. We recommend that the tax revenue be divided between a regulating body and the e-mail recipient's Internet service provider.

Suggested Citation

  • Willmore, C., 1999. "A Penny for your Thoughts: E-Mail and the Under-Valuation of Expert Time," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 551, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:551
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    File URL: https://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/workingpapers/2008/twerp551.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Fershtman, Chaim & Nitzan, Shmuel, 1991. "Dynamic voluntary provision of public goods," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 1057-1067, July.
    2. Anat R. Admati & Motty Perry, 1991. "Joint Projects without Commitment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 259-276.
    3. Pankaj Ghemawat & Barry Nalebuff, 1990. "The Devolution of Declining Industries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(1), pages 167-186.
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    Cited by:

    1. Simon P. Anderson & André de Palma, 2009. "Information congestion," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, pages 688-709.
    2. Simon P. Anderson & André de Palma, 2007. "Information Congestion: open access in a two-sided market," THEMA Working Papers 2007-10, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    COSTS ; TAXATION ; INTERNET;

    JEL classification:

    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software
    • L63 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Microelectronics; Computers; Communications Equipment
    • L96 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Telecommunications

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