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Institute for International Economic Studies, Stockholm University Seminar Papers, Institute for International Economic Studies, Stockholm University

No 670:
The ICT Revolution in Consumer Product Markets

Assar Lindbeck () and Solveig Wikström

Abstract: New informationa and communication technology (ICT) makes consumers better informed about available products, product quality and prices, which mitigates problems of assymetry of information. The entry of firms is facilitated, competition and economic efficiency is boosted and the market powers of households is increased. Firms are likely to respond by increased product and price differentiation. There will also be considerable changes in the division of tasks between firms and households. But important obstacles to these developments are technological vulnerability, quality problems in the information of the Internet, cognitive limitations of individuals and weaknesses in the product-delivery infrastructure in connection with Internet trade.

Keywords: information technology; consumer goods markets; household production; competition; pricing; assymetric information; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: D13; D40; D80; L10; (follow links to similar papers)

30 pages, May 1, 1999

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