I n t e r n e t E c o n o m i c s Internet-based electronic marketplaces leverage information technology to match buyers and sellers with increased effectiveness and lower transaction costs, leading to more efficient, friction-free markets. The Emerging Role of Electronic Marketplaces on the Internet Markets play a central role in the economy, facilitating the Yannis Bakos exchange of information, goods, services, and payments. In the process, they create economic value for buyers, sellers, market intermediaries, and for society at large. Recent years have seen a dramatic increase in the role of information technology in markets, both in traditional markets, and in the emergence of electronic marketplaces, such as the multitude of Internet-based online auctions. Functions of a Market Markets (electronic or otherwise) have three main functions, summarized in Table 1: matching buyers and sellers; facilitating the exchange of information, goods, services and payments associated with market transactions; and providing an institutional infrastructure, such as a legal and regulatory framework, that enables the efficient functioning of the market. In a modern economy, the first two functions are provided by intermediaries, while the institutional infrastructure is typically the province of governments. Internet-based electronic
Communications of the ACM – Association for Computing Machinery
Published: Aug 1, 1998
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