Finance Papers

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

9-2013

Publication Source

Information Systems Research

Volume

24

Issue

3

Start Page

613

Last Page

631

DOI

10.1287/isre.1120.0453

Abstract

We explore how Internet browsing behavior varies between mobile phones and personal computers. Smaller screen sizes on mobile phones increase the cost to the user of browsing for information. In addition, a wider range of offline locations for mobile Internet usage suggests that local activities are particularly important. Using data on user behavior at a (Twitter-like) microblogging service, we exploit exogenous variation in the ranking mechanism of posts to identify the ranking effects. We show that (1) ranking effects are higher on mobile phones suggesting higher search costs: links that appear at the top of the screen are especially likely to be clicked on mobile phones and (2) the benefit of browsing for geographically close matches is higher on mobile phones: stores located in close proximity to a user's home are much more likely to be clicked on mobile phones. Thus, the mobile Internet is somewhat less “Internet-like”: search costs are higher and distance matters more. We speculate on how these changes may affect the future direction of Internet commerce.

Copyright/Permission Statement

http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/isre.1120.0453

Keywords

mobile Internet, search costs, ranking effects, cognitive load, recency effects, local interests, microblogging, social media, hierarchical Bayesian methods

Embargo Date

6-20-2012

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Date Posted: 27 November 2017

This document has been peer reviewed.