Why the US and EU are failing to set information free

Susan Ariel Aaronson, 14 July 2014

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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.

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

Are large headquarters unproductive?

Masayuki Morikawa, 19 June 2014

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The role of headquarters

Headquarters – the core service sector inside companies – conduct a wide range of highly strategic activities, including:

Topics: Productivity and Innovation
Tags: centralisation, headquarters, ICT, Japan, Management, productivity, technology

Net neutrality: A simple goal with some difficult implementation ahead

Joshua Gans, 11 June 2014

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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

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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.

Topics: Frontiers of economic research, Productivity and Innovation
Tags: agglomeration, economic geography, information technology, internet, invention, patents, technology

Newspaper readership, civic attitudes, and economic development: Evidence from the history of African media

Julia Cagé, Valeria Rueda, 14 May 2014

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Poor governance due to lack of political accountability is often cited as an explanation for the low level of economic development in sub-Saharan Africa. Lack of political accountability can emerge when voters do not choose their candidates according to their expected performance.

Topics: Development, Economic history, Institutions and economics, Politics and economics
Tags: accountability, Africa, democracy, development, media, religion, technology, voting

US electrification in the 1930s

Carl Kitchens, 29 January 2014

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In 1930, fewer than 10% of farms in the US had access to electricity. By the mid-1950s, almost every farm in the country had electricity. While the US was able to extend electricity to its rural locations rapidly over a 25-year period, much of the developing world still remains without electricity today. In 2012, 1.3 billion people lived without electricity worldwide.

Topics: Development, Economic history
Tags: Agriculture, electricity, electrification, growth, infrastructure, investment, subsidies, technology

Is technological progress a thing of the past?

Joel Mokyr, 8 September 2013

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Technological progress has been at the heart of economic growth for two centuries. Some authors, however, have suggested that product and process innovation are running out of steam:

Topics: Productivity and Innovation
Tags: technological progress, technology

Technology and income dynamics: 1800-2000

Diego Comin, Martí Mestieri, 28 May 2013

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Two-hundred years ago, cross-country differences in income were relatively small. European countries and Western offshoots, what Maddison (2004) called Western countries, were on average 90% richer than the rest.1 By 2000, this income gap had grown to 750%.

Topics: Economic history
Tags: income, technology

Four changes to trade rules to facilitate climate change action

Aaditya Mattoo, Arvind Subramanian, 4 May 2013

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The research on the links between trade rules and climate-change action has mostly been concerned with how far climate-change action is constrained by current trade rules pertaining, for example, to border-tax adjustments (Horn and Mavroidis 2011), subsidies (Green 2006) and exports of natural gas (Levi 2012 and Hufbauer et al. 2013).

Topics: Energy, Environment
Tags: adaptation, climate change, technology

European data protection: Impact of the EU data-protection regulation

Laurits R. Christensen, Federico Etro, 24 March 2013

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Policymaking and regulation at the centralised level in a union of countries such as the EU require care. Policymakers must strike a careful balance between the benefits of the harmonisation of policies and the costs of accounting for the differing preferences of individual countries (see Dewatripont et al. 1995).

Topics: EU policies, Europe's nations and regions
Tags: data protection, harmonisation, technology

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