Deterring Bad Behavior on Digital Platforms

53 Pages Posted: 24 Sep 2019

See all articles by David S. Evans

David S. Evans

Global Economics Group; University College London

Date Written: September 17, 2019

Abstract

This paper is about the regulation of bad behavior by participants on digital platforms. It shows that these platforms have private incentives to limit this bad behavior and, in fact, have rules, monitoring, and enforcement systems to do so. However, these private incentives may not provide motivation to limit harmful behavior enough. That may require the government to enhance public regulation of the perpetrators and better align the platform’s private incentives to engage in regulation with public incentives to do so. The paper uses the economic theory of the regulation of negative externalities to examine these issues and provide general guidance for devising interventions. It identifies issues that policymakers should consider in determining the optimal regulation of bad behavior on digital and applies these to current discussions over the regulation of speech, privacy, and copyright. Finally, it shows that these negative externalities, and governance systems to address them, also raise important issues for antitrust policy.

Keywords: digital platforms, regulating digital platforms, online privacy regulation, regulating online speech, cyberlaw, platform governance, two-sided platforms, platform rules and regulations, network effects

JEL Classification: K24, K21, K14, K15, K11, K23, L21, L40, O3

Suggested Citation

Evans, David S., Deterring Bad Behavior on Digital Platforms (September 17, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3455384 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3455384

David S. Evans (Contact Author)

Global Economics Group ( email )

111 Devonshire St.
Suite 900
Boston, MA 02108
United States

University College London ( email )

Gower St
London WC1E OEG, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
127
Abstract Views
533
rank
224,920
PlumX Metrics