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The Internet and E-commerce

Anno XXXIV, n. 151, settembre-ottobre 1999
Centro Einaudi


Testo disponibile solo in lingua inglese.
In the last few years, the Internet and the information technology sector have been the central players in a rapid, deep-reaching change in the economy; a change which is likely to have reverberations on our way of living and working and being citizens. This essay takes into consideration the distinctive economic features of the phenomenon, such as problems connected with uncertainty about the quality of goods, renewed possibilities for price discrimination, network externalities and positive feedback. It goes on to briefly discuss the possible effects which this will have on the structure of the market and relations between consumers and firms, plus the fact that the capacity to attract one of the few factors that will become scarce – human attention – will be decisive for firms. Lastly, it examines the effects of e-commerce on consumers and firms.

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