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EF12: Platforms with Marshall Van Alstyne

March 20, 2017

What is a platform and do platforms represent a new form of industrial organization? Marshall Van Alstyne, professor at Boston University and research associate at the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, joins us for a conversation on these topics. We start by discussing the fundamental economics of platforms. Next, we attempt to tackle the following questions: What generates market power on platforms? Do platforms improve efficiency by internalizing externalities or do they create distortions? What are the sources of demand side network effects? Does Google create a competitive bottleneck? When is regulation of platforms appropriate? When should a firm adopt a platform strategy?


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