Essays in Industrial Organization and Information Technology

Lam, Wing Man Wynne (2014) Essays in Industrial Organization and Information Technology, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Economia, 27 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/6725.
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Chapter 1 studies how consumers’ switching costs affect the pricing and profits of firms competing in two-sided markets such as Apple and Google in the smartphone market. When two-sided markets are dynamic – rather than merely static – I show that switching costs lower the first-period price if network externalities are strong, which is in contrast to what has been found in one-sided markets. By contrast, switching costs soften price competition in the initial period if network externalities are weak and consumers are more patient than the platforms. Moreover, an increase in switching costs on one side decreases the first-period price on the other side. Chapter 2 examines firms’ incentives to invest in local and flexible resources when demand is uncertain and correlated. I find that market power of the monopolist providing flexible resources distorts investment incentives, while competition mitigates them. The extent of improvement depends critically on demand correlation and the cost of capacity: under social optimum and monopoly, if the flexible resource is cheap, the relationship between investment and correlation is positive, and if it is costly, the relationship becomes negative; under duopoly, the relationship is positive. The analysis also sheds light on some policy discussions in markets such as cloud computing. Chapter 3 develops a theory of sequential investments in cybersecurity. The regulator can use safety standards and liability rules to increase security. I show that the joint use of an optimal standard and a full liability rule leads to underinvestment ex ante and overinvestment ex post. Instead, switching to a partial liability rule can correct the inefficiencies. This suggests that to improve security, the regulator should encourage not only firms, but also consumers to invest in security.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Lam, Wing Man Wynne
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze economiche e statistiche
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
information technology, switching costs, two-sided markets, network externality, naivety, loyalty, capacity investment, cloud computing, competition, demand correlation, cybersecurity, sequential investments, standards, liability
Data di discussione
1 Ottobre 2014

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