National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

To initiate and organize research on the economics of digital information

  • Amount $999,155
  • City Cambridge, MA
  • Investigator Shane Greenstein
  • Year 2010
  • Program Research
  • Sub-program Economic Institutions, Behavior, & Performance

The digitization of information on a massive scale challenges many traditional assumptions about how media markets, intellectual property laws, innovation, governance, and other important aspects of our world can or should work. Adjustments taking place due to advances in digital information technology are rapid, significant, unfinished, and little studied by objective academics as opposed to interested stakeholders. This grant to the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), supports efforts to establish an impartial community of scholars dedicated to studying the determinants and consequences of digitization. Activities funded through this grant divide into three broad categories: the development an economic framework for analyzing the effects of changes in and diffusion of digital information technology that is theoretically grounded and empirically relevant; the application of such a framework to the systematic evaluation of policy and governance issues; and the improvement of measures of the extent, impact, and potential for the diffusion and use of digital information technology through providing datasets that researchers can share. Funds from this grant will support annual workshops at the NBER Summer Institute, winter outreach meetings with practitioners and a culminating conference and proceedings. Funds for small research grants, postdoctoral fellowships, and data infrastructure are also included. Taken together, the funded activities represent a comprehensive and unique opportunity for improving how we understand the problems and promise of digitization.

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