Tim Berners-Lee, the architect of the World Wide Web, taught us that the internet we have is a function of the choices we (users, companies, policymakers, etc.) make about information flows. For example, in 1995, Berners-Lee chose not to patent his work on the World Wide Web because he feared patenting it could limit its universality and openness. He continues to advocate this.
Why the US and EU are failing to set information free
Susan Ariel Aaronson, 14 July 2014
Topics: EU policies, Global governance, International trade
Tags: data protection, EU, free trade agreements, Human rights, Information, information technology, internet, national security, privacy, technology, trade, US, WTO
Net neutrality: A simple goal with some difficult implementation ahead
Joshua Gans, 11 June 2014
Net neutrality has a simple goal – to ensure that consumers face an undistorted choice in choosing where to devote their attention on the Internet. The rationale for that goal is to ensure a ‘level playing field’ for those who provide content, applications, or anything else via the Internet.
Topics: Competition policy, Industrial organisation, Microeconomic regulation
Tags: Federal Communications Commission, internet, market power, net neutrality, price discrimination, regulation, technology, US
Did the internet prevent all invention from moving to one place?
Chris Forman, Avi Goldfarb, Shane Greenstein, 23 May 2014
Reading the technology press, it often seems as if the media think all high-tech invention happens in Silicon Valley. This parochial viewpoint highlights the ‘agglomeration’ advantages that the Valley provides to inventors because so many technology firms are located in the same place.
Politics 2.0: Short-run and long-run effects of broadband internet on political participation
Francesco Sobbrio, Ruben Durante, Filipe R Campante, 12 June 2013
The internet has dramatically transformed the way individuals obtain, produce, and exchange information. There is a widespread belief that such a revolution is likely to have a profound impact on various dimensions of social life, not least on politics. In particular, deep transformations have been predicted for the ability to organise collective action.
Can trade policy set information free?
Susan Ariel Aaronson, 22 December 2012
Although the internet is creating a virtuous circle of expanding global growth, opportunity, and information flows (Lendle et al. 2012), policymakers and market actors are taking steps that undermine access to information, reduce freedom of expression and splinter the internet (Herald 2012).
The next productivity revolution: The ‘industrial internet’
Marco Annunziata, 7 December 2012
The largest advanced economies are struggling with weak growth prospects and daunting fiscal challenges. Looking at the macroeconomic equation, there is no easy way out. Looking at the microeconomic level, however, suggests that it is innovation that might come to the rescue.
Unbundling the incumbent: Evidence from UK broadband
Mattia Nardotto, Tommaso Valletti , Frank Verboven, 25 November 2012
Like other communication networks, broadband is seen as a main driver of economic activity and growth (Czernich et al. 2011). The potential benefits of broadband are considerable, but so are its rollout costs. Large, sunk infrastructure investments also create market power. Thus the telecom industry has traditionally been subject to some form of regulation.
Taking advantage of the vast amount of data generated on the internet
Liran Einav, Theresa Kuchler, Jonathan Levin, Neel Sundaresan, 18 September 2011
Since the early days of the internet, it has been clear that the vast and detailed data being collected in online markets would provide opportunities to study consumer behaviour, to test theories of competition and market structure, and to analyse the effects of changes in search costs, product variety, and market organisation, all in relatively structured environments.
Federico Etro, 11 June 2011
The European Commission’s investigation of Google is focusing a lot of attention on search advertising. Another interested party in this area is the academic community, particularly theoretical and empirical economic researchers (see for example Athey and Ellinson 2011).
E-commerce and the market structure of retail industries
Chad Syverson, 25 July 2010
E-commerce accounts for hundreds of billions of dollars in sales annually in the US and in Europe, and that figure is growing rapidly. The price effects of internet shopping, and e-commerce in general, have received a lot of research attention (see for example Brynjolfsson and Smith 2000, Scott Morton et al. 2001, Brown and Goolsbee 2002, Baye et al. 2007, and Ellison and Ellison 2009).
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