Archive for the 'Online Economy' Category

Promotional Piracy

Monday, March 17th, 2008 by Paul Ayres

In the first of a series of interviews with economics researchers at the Royal Economic Society Conference 2008, Romesh Vaitilingam talks to Karen Croxson about Promotional Piracy: Why some media and software companies turn a blind eye to illegal downloads.

Some providers of digital products, such as software, music and film, may turn a blind eye to or even encourage piracy of their goods, according to new research by Karen Croxson presented at the Royal Economic Society’s 2008 annual conference. They do this because while piracy may harm sales, it can also serve to provide free marketing, helping to create buzz about a product.

The most high profile example of buzz is the Arctic Monkeys, a British music group, which distributed its initial songs freely online. But firms in other industries may benefit from the same effect. Makers of office software such as Microsoft may enjoy a net benefit from piracy: business users are unlikely to copy the product, and others who copy it would not have bought it anyway. Thus, the main effect of piracy is extra cheap promotion, and this in turn may explain why copy protection applied to office software is relatively weak.


Online shoppers worse off after the Euro changeover

Thursday, March 16th, 2006 by Paul Ayres

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A key argument for the introduction of the euro was that it would make prices transparent across Europe, thereby fostering competition and lowering prices. But research by Michael Baye, Rupert Gatti, Paul Kattuman and John Morgan reveals that in fact online shoppers in the eurozone have lost out relative to their counterparts elsewhere in the European Union (EU) following the currency changeover. Their results were presented at the Royal Economic Society’s Annual Conference.

The researchers find that the euro changeover neither mitigated price differences nor resulted in purchasing power parity for products sold online, either within or between countries. In fact, average prices charged by e-retailers within the eurozone increased by about 6% relative to those in EU countries not adopting the euro. The impact on the minimum or best prices in each country was even more dramatic, with the lowest online prices in the eurozone rising by 11% relative to non-eurozone e-retailers. (more…)

Computer and communication skills mean better pay

Thursday, March 16th, 2006 by Paul Ayres

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Anyone who is good at using computers or communicating can expect to earn considerably more than their educational qualifications alone would suggest. That is the central conclusion of research by Professor Francis Green and Dr Andy Dickerson, presented at the Royal Economic Society’s Annual Conference.

Their analysis of the 2001 Skills Survey, a nationally representative survey of 4,500 working individuals in Britain aged 20-60 (and compares it with a similar survey of 2,500 individuals in 1997), shows that: (more…)