Hyper-Media Search and Consumption

51 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2013

See all articles by Jason M.T. Roos

Jason M.T. Roos

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Rotterdam School of Management (RSM); Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

Carl F. Mela

Duke University - Fuqua School of Business

Ron Shachar

Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliyah - Adelson School of Entrepreneuship

Date Written: June 25, 2013

Abstract

Hyper-media, owing to its ability to embed and link to information from other sources, has become an important modality for consuming news and information. Yet there remains a dearth of empirical research seeking to explain and forecast consumer behavior in this context.

We develop a structural model of hyper-media search and consumption that accounts for features unique to this environment, including: 1) the rapid turnover of information (and consumers’ concomitant uncertainty about its relevance and availability), 2) the redundancy of information across sites, and 3) the important signaling role played by linked excerpts. We estimate the model using panel data on consumer celebrity blog browsing and information scraped from sites regarding the link structure between them.

We find that blogs are differentiated horizontally by their degree of sexually-oriented content and that links are informative of the linked sites’ content. Results indicate links can decrease (increase) visitations to the linked (linking) sites.

A counterfactual experiment related to fair use indicates that sites with mainstream (niche) content lose more (less) traffic when excerpting is prohibited. A net neutrality counterfactual shows that consumers who strongly prefer a high bandwidth site might be better off after its bandwidth is allocated to less preferred sites.

Keywords: Structural models, Dynamic programming, Learning models, Bayesian estimation

JEL Classification: M31, D83

Suggested Citation

Roos, Jason M.T. and Mela, Carl F. and Shachar, Roni, Hyper-Media Search and Consumption (June 25, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2286000 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2286000

Jason M.T. Roos (Contact Author)

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Rotterdam School of Management (RSM) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands
+31 (0)10 408 25 27 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.jasonmtroos.com

Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

Carl F. Mela

Duke University - Fuqua School of Business ( email )

Box 90120
Durham, NC 27708-0120
United States
919-660-7767 (Phone)

Roni Shachar

Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliyah - Adelson School of Entrepreneuship ( email )

P.O. Box 167
Herzliya, 46150
Israel

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