Economic Experiments and Neutrality in Internet Access

54 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2007 Last revised: 29 Oct 2014

See all articles by Shane M. Greenstein

Shane M. Greenstein

Harvard University - Technology & Operations Management Unit; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: June 2007

Abstract

Economic experiments yield lessons to firms that can be acquired only through market experience. Economic experiments cannot take place in a laboratory; scientists, engineers, or marketing executives cannot distill equivalent lessons from simply building a prototype or interviewing potential customers and vendors. The historical record illustrates that economic experiments were important for value creation in Internet access markets. In general, industry-wide returns from economic experiments exceed private returns, with several important exceptions. Those conclusions motivate an inquiry into whether regulatory policy can play a role in fostering the creation of value. The net neutrality debate is reinterpreted through this lens. A three part test is proposed for encouraging economic experiments from both broadband carriers and providers of complementary services.

Suggested Citation

Greenstein, Shane M., Economic Experiments and Neutrality in Internet Access (June 2007). NBER Working Paper No. w13158. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=992161

Shane M. Greenstein (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Technology & Operations Management Unit ( email )

Boston, MA 02163
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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