Journal of Economic Perspectives: Vol. 15 No. 1 (Winter 2001)


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Business-to-Business Electronic Commerce

Article Citation

Lucking-Reiley, David, and Daniel F. Spulber. 2001. "Business-to-Business Electronic Commerce." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 15(1): 55-68.

DOI: 10.1257/jep.15.1.55


Just as the industrial revolution mechanized the manufacturing functions of firms, the information revolution is automating their merchant functions. Four types of potential productivity gains are expected from business-to-business (B2B) electronic commerce: cost efficiencies from automation of transactions, potential advantages of new market intermediaries, consolidation of demand and supply through organized exchanges, and changes in the extent of vertical integration of firms. The article examines the characteristics of B2B online intermediaries, including categories of goods traded, market mechanisms employed, and ownership arrangements, and considers the market structure of B2B e-commerce.

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Lucking-Reiley, David (Vanderbilt U)
Spulber, Daniel F. (Northwestern U)

JEL Classifications

L86: Information and Internet Services; Computer Software
D21: Firm Behavior
L22: Firm Organization and Market Structure


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