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

No 677:
ICT and Household-Firm Relations

Assar Lindbeck () and Solveig Wikström ()

Abstract: This paper discusses how ICT and emerging electronic commerce in consumer products influence the relative efficiency in production of households and firms, resulting in changes in the division of tasks between these two types of agents. Increased information and competence of households, in combination with stiffer competition among firms, will also increase the power of households relative to firms, at least in a long-term perspective with free entry of firms. Households will also get more powerful channels to influence firms directly, i.e., beside the indirect influence via market trans-actions. We point out that this will result in various counter-reactions by firms, includ-ing increased differentiation of products and prices. Finally, we briefly consider various limitations and obstacles to electronic commerce in a long-term perspective.

Keywords: information technology; household production; division of labour; market powers; competition; (follow links to similar papers)

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

29 pages, October 1, 1999

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