This paper was prepared for the conference " Public Access to the Internet, " JFK School of Government, May 26–27 , 1993. We describe the technology and cost structure of the NSFNET backbone of the Internet, and discuss how one might price Internet access and use. We argue that usage-based pricing is likely to be necessary to control congestion on the… (More)
The field of economic mechanism design has been an active area of research in economics for at least 20 years. This field uses the tools of economics and game theory to design ''rules of interaction'' for economic transactions that will, in principle, yield some desired outcome. In this paper I provide an overview of this subject for an audience interested… (More)
System reliability often depends on the effort of many individuals, making reliability a public good. It is well-known that purely voluntary provision of public goods may result in a free rider problem: individuals may tend to shirk, resulting in an inefficient level of the public good. How much effort each individual exerts will depend on his own benefits… (More)
The rapid advance in information technology now makes it feasible for sellers to condition their price offers on consumers' prior purchase behavior. In this paper we examine when it is profitable to engage in this form of price discrimination. Our baseline model involves rational consumers with constant valuations for the good being sold and a monopoly… (More)
This is a set of Frequently Asked Questions and answers about the economic, institutional, and technological structure of the Inter-net. We describe the history and current state of the Internet, discuss some of the pressing economic and regulatory problems, and speculate about future developments. 1 What is a FAQ? FAQ stands for Frequently Asked Questions.… (More)
This is a list of Frequently Asked Questions about usage-based pricing of the Internet. We argue that usage-based pricing is likely to come sooner or later and that some serious thought should be devoted to devising a sensible system of usage-based pricing.
They say that economists are people who are good with numbers but don't have the personality to become accountants. I want to belie that mild-mannered image by doing something rash and even downright dangerous: I want to talk to you about some work in my subject, economics, that I think might be relevant to the work in your subject, information retrieval. I… (More)