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Network effects, network structure and consumer interaction in mobile telecommunications in Europe and Asia

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Abstract

This paper estimates the importance of (tariff-mediated) network effects and the impact of a consumer's social network on her choice of mobile phone provider. The study uses network data obtained from surveys of students in several European and Asian countries. We use the Quadratic Assignment Procedure, a non-parametric permutation test, to adjust for the particular error structure of network data. We find that respondents strongly coordinate their choice of mobile phone providers, but only if their provider induces network effects. This suggests that this coordination depends on network effects rather than on information contagion or pressure to conform to the social environment.

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