September 3rd, 2009

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Link Harvest: Shrouded Attributes

Turns out there is an economic term for a phenomenon I tried to describe in this piece on text messaging and this earlier piece on cable: that consumers make selection based on relatively few obvious criteria and providers try to obscure other criteria that consumers may care about, but are not the basis for a decision.

The term is "shrouded attributes," and it is described in 2006 Article by Xavier Gabaix and David Laibson.
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I may actually get credit for coining this term.

In the latest Five Minutes with Harold Feld, I explain the concept of Broadband Ecology. I've been pushing the term "broadband ecology" to describe the concept of examining broadband policy as an interrelated, complex and dynamic system since February 2009 when I wrote "From Broadband Marketplace to Broadband Ecology." Since then, the term has begun to get some currency, even being the name of a panel (not planned by me) at the NAMAC conference last week. Hopefully, the mem will spread.

Here's the link to the blog post, which also has a link to the FCC workshop. My written statement from the workshop is here. (I recommend this only for the serious wonk who finds highly technical discussions among intelligent, educated people who never once use the words "death panel" or compare anyone to Hittler -- you'll note the utter lack of press coverage.)

Also, of course, the video below.