Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=504062
 
 

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The Economics of Peer-to-Peer Networks


Ramayya Krishnan


Carnegie Mellon University - H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management

Michael D. Smith


Carnegie Mellon University - H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management

Rahul Telang


Carnegie Mellon University - H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management

September 2003


Abstract:     
Peer-to-Peer (P2P) networks have emerged as a significant social phenomenon for the distribution of information goods and may become an important alternative to traditional client-server network architectures for knowledge sharing within enterprises. This paper reviews and synthesizes the relevant computer science and economics literatures as they relate to P2P networks, and raises important questions for researchers interested in studying the behavior of these networks from the perspective of the economics of information technology.

With regard to the economic characteristics of these networks, we show that while the characteristics of services provided over P2P networks are similar to public goods and club goods, they have many important differences and hence there is a need for new theoretical models as well as empirical and experimental analysis to understand P2P user behavior. We then identify several important areas for study with regard to the economics of P2P networks and review recent academic papers in each area.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 23

Keywords: Peer-to-peer, club goods, public goods, network externalities

JEL Classification: L86, O30, H41

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Date posted: February 19, 2004  

Suggested Citation

Krishnan, Ramayya and Smith, Michael D. and Telang, Rahul, The Economics of Peer-to-Peer Networks (September 2003). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=504062 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.504062

Contact Information

Ramayya Krishnan
Carnegie Mellon University - H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management ( email )
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
United States
Michael D. Smith (Contact Author)
Carnegie Mellon University - H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management ( email )
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.heinz.cmu.edu/~mds
Rahul Telang
Carnegie Mellon University - H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management ( email )
4800 Forbes Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
United States
412-268-1155 (Phone)
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