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Digital Dealing: How E-Markets Are Transforming the Economy Hardcover – January 15, 2002

4 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Despite floundering stocks, tanking valuations, accelerating layoffs, and intensifying skepticism, the Internet remains a place where business deals of all kinds are increasingly executed. Stanford economics professor Robert Hall studied the myriad forms of business-to-consumer and business-to-business "electronic dickering" now evolving online, and he astutely analyzes their structure and potential in Digital Dealing. "Consumers buy books and sell Barbie dolls. Investors buy stocks and bonds. Businesses buy steel ingots and sell bulldozers," he writes. All consistently improve these automated systems in the process, he adds, and will ultimately ensure they are more efficient than comparable types of traditional dealmaking. In a discussion certain to spark the imagination, Hall details six primary methods now used to consummate such online transactions: the eBay model (many sellers offering many products to many buyers), the OffRoad model (one seller offering multiple units of one product to many buyers), the FreeMarkets model (one buyer requesting one product from many suppliers), the Nasdaq model (many sellers offering similar products to many buyers), the Priceline model (many customers seeking similar products from many sellers), and the Grainger/Amazon model (one seller offering many products to many buyers at rates that may be set or negotiable). Readers should find his insights illuminating and potentially transferable to their own operations. --Howard Rothman

From Publishers Weekly

Stanford economics professor Hall makes economics fun where hundreds of his colleagues have failed. Focusing on buying and selling via the World Wide Web everywhere from eBay to business-to-business marketplace exchanges Hall explains the economics behind the transactions that ultimately lead to deals. Managers will have to do most of the work to figure out which pricing models will work best for their businesses, but at least Hall provides a clear and entertaining account of the options.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (January 15, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393042103
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393042108
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,290,507 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Robert E. Hall holds a joint position endowed by Robert and Carole McNeil as a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a professor in the economics department, Stanford University. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Econometric Society and the Society of Labor Economists.

Hall is an applied economist with interests in technology, competition, employment issues, and economic policy. He is a frequent contributor to discussions of national economic policy, including monetary policy, fiscal policy, and competition policy. Hall's research focuses on levels of activity and stock market valuations in market economies and on the economics of high technology, particularly the Internet. His most recent book, Digital Dealing: How e-Markets Are Transforming the Economy, was published by W. W. Norton in 2001.

Along with Hoover colleague Alvin Rabushka, Hall is an active proponent of the flat tax. Their article in the Wall Street Journal in December 1981 was the starting point of an upsurge of interest in the flat tax. This led to their book, The Flat Tax (Hoover Institution Press, 1985 and 1995). The pair was recognized in Money magazine's Money Hall of Fame for their contributions to financial innovation over the past twenty years.

Hall is coauthor, with Marc Lieberman, of Economics: Principles and Applications, 3rd edition (South-Western, 2004).

Hall also serves as director of the research program on economic fluctuations and growth of the National Bureau of Economic Research, an interuniversity research organization. He is chairman of the bureau's Committee on Business Cycle Dating, which maintains the semiofficial chronology of the U.S. business cycle.

Hall has advised a number of government agencies on national economic policy, including the Justice Department, the Treasury Department, and the Federal Reserve Board. He served on President-elect Ronald Reagan's Task Force on Inflation Policy and was a member of the National Presidential Advisory Committee on Productivity. He has testified on numerous occasions before congressional committees concerning national economic policy. He presented the Ely Lecture to the American Economic Association in 2001.

Before coming to Stanford, Hall was a professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an assistant professor at the University of California at Berkeley.

Born in Palo Alto, California, he attended school in Palo Alto and Los Angeles, received his B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley and his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Hall is married to economist Susan Woodward and lives in Menlo Park, California.

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In spite of predictions of doom by some, eCommerce is here to stay, and in fact will evolve into something that might be called "eDealing" or "eNegotiation". Whatever it is called, the ability to negotiate deals real-time on the Web is something that is coming fast, and will be driven by the need for transparency and efficiency in this kind of deal-making. The author has given an interesting but elementary account of what he has named "digital dealing", which could be read by anyone who is interested in this type of technology. All of the current financial institutions will eventually have to face up to the presence of e-markets in the months and years ahead. Due to space constraints, only the first four chapters will be reviewed here.
In chapter 1 of the book the author gives an overview of the nature of e-markets, and the phenomenon of "dickering" (bargaining or haggling) for the best price. Successful e-markets in his view must support automated versions of dickering, and engage in deal-making despite the desire to hide the 'best price'. The author gives four steps that he believes will ensure a successful e-commerce system: the identification of potential trading partners, followed by the transmission and reception of trading interest and dickering with potential partners, the actual carrying out the deal, and lastly the providing of the information about the deal to other traders. He also lists, and then discusses what he believes are the most effective e-market models: eBay, OffRoad, FreeMarkets, Nasdaq, Priceline, and Grainger. The author also discusses the need for transparency in terms of three categories, namely the identity of traders, the terms of the bids, and the terms of the deal.
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