National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

To organize and support innovative research on the economics of digitization

  • Amount $724,000
  • City Cambridge, MA
  • Investigator Shane Greenstein
  • Year 2017
  • Program Research
  • Sub-program Economic Institutions, Behavior, & Performance

Digitization changes everything. The rapid decline in marginal costs for information storage, processing, and networking, for example, challenges many basic assumptions of textbook economics. Traditional concepts and analytical tools provide limited help understanding recent phenomena such as on-demand labor markets, zero-cost reproduction of copyrighted material, or exclusively ad-supported consumption goods. This grant provides three years of continued support to the Economics of Digitization Working Group at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Under the leadership of Professors Shane Greenstein and Josh Lerner from Harvard and Scott Stern from MIT, the working group brings together top scholars to address issues such as digital markets for books, music, and the news; online privacy and piracy; government regulation of the internet; the economic implications of artificial intelligence; and the economics of two-sided markets. Grant funds will support two meetings of the working group per year, an annual student tutorial, a small grant program to support new work on the economics of digitization, and outreach and support to the growing community of researchers interested in working on these and related issues.  

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