Handbook on the Economics of the Internet
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Handbook on the Economics of the Internet

Edited by Johannes M. Bauer and Michael Latzer

As the single most important general purpose technology of recent times, the Internet is transforming the organization, competitive structure and business models of the private, the public and non-profit sectors. In 27 original chapters, leading authors discuss theoretical and applied frameworks for the study of the economics of the Internet and its unique economics as a global information and communications infrastructure. They also examine the effects of the Internet on economic transactions (including social production, advertising, innovation, and intellectual property rights), the economics and management of Internet-based industries (including search, news, entertainment, culture, and virtual worlds), and the effects of the Internet on the economy at large.
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Chapter 20: Online advertising economics

Wenjuan Ma and Steven S. Wildman


While the Internet was used to deliver advertising messages earlier, it was only after it was turned over to largely commercial funding in 1995 that Internet advertising began a still continuing period of rapid revenue growth. Research focused on online advertising has grown apace and, while this interest did not develop entirely overnight, recent years have seen an unprecedented flurry of research on the economics of online advertising. Like Internet advertising itself, the volume of research on economic aspects of Internet advertising has grown dramatically in recent years. The chapter provides a brief overview of the historical development of online advertising and highlights the diversity of the types of advertising services that are counted as part of the online advertising sector. This discussion is followed by an overview of the economics research on ad targeting and search advertising, the two topics that comprise most of the economics literature on Internet advertising. The chapter concludes with an assessment of the current state of research on Internet advertising and thoughts on future research that would help further advance our understanding of this subject.

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