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The Economics of the Digital Society

Edited by Luc Soete, Joint Director, United Nations University-Institute for New Technologies (UNU-INTECH) and the Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT), and Professor of International Economics, Maastricht University, The Netherlands and Bas ter Weel, Assistant Professor of Economics and Researcher, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT), Maastricht University, The Netherlands
This important book presents a unique body of research into the economics of the digital society. It questions how modern economies have been transformed as a result of digital goods and markets, and explores the policy implications and challenges of this revolution.
Extent: 384 pp
Hardback Price: £109.00 Web: £98.10
Publication Date: 2005
ISBN: 978 1 84376 774 9
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  • Business and Management
  • Knowledge Management
  • Innovation and Technology
  • Knowledge Management
  • Technology and ICT
This important book presents a unique body of research into the economics of the digital society. It questions how modern economies have been transformed as a result of digital goods and markets, and explores the policy implications and challenges of this revolution.

Luc Soete and Bas ter Weel have assembled leading economists and social scientists to provide an invaluable insight into the influence of the digital society in the core fields of economics. They offer a comprehensive overview of the changes that information and communication technologies (ICTs) have brought about in our analysis and understanding of society, focusing particularly upon welfare economics, networks, the diffusion of new businesses and new forms of entrepreneurship, the auctioning of licences, the much-debated role of intellectual property rights and the emergence of free software in the open-source movement.

There are however a number of more indirect economic developments influencing the technological society that are also taken into consideration. These include the increased work pressure and new diseases affecting the workforce, the economics of digital content, the effects of computer use on the wage structure, the impact of ICTs on goods and labour markets, and the macroeconomic consequences of ICT investment in terms of knowledge accumulation and economic growth.

Distinctive and comprehensive in its coverage of the critical issues associated with the digital economy, this book will appeal to academics, policy makers and students alike.
Contributors: E.J. Bartelsman, L. Borghans, R. Cowan, P.A. David, W. Dolfsma, C. Freeman, R.A. Ghosh, R. Glott, H. Gruber, P.J.-J. Herings, J. Hinloopen, N. Jonard, B. Krieger, H. Meijers, J. Muysken, G. Robles, M.P. Schinkel, L. Soete, B. Straathof, B. ter Weel, A. van Zon, R. Weehuizen, T. Ziesemer
Contents: Foreword 1. Introduction and Summary 2. World-wide-welfare: A Micro-economic Analysis of ‘The New Economy’ 3. Network Formation, Innovation and IT Use 4. Adoption and Diffusion of e-Business and the Role of Network Effects 5. Radio Spectrum Fees as Determinants of Market Structure: The Consequences of European 3G Licensing 6. Does the New Economy Need all the Old IPR Institutions and Still More? 7. Free Software Developers: Who, How and Why 8. Technological Change, Job Stress and Burnout 9. Some Economics of Digital Content 10. How Computerization has Changed the Labour Market: A Review of the Evidence and a New Perspective 11. ICT and Optimal Unemployment Benefits when Pissarides meets Dixit–Stiglitz 12. Unleashing Animal Spirits: Investment in ICT and Economic Growth 13. The Impact of ICT Investment on Knowledge Accumulation and Economic Growth 14. A Digital Society for Us All: ‘Old’ and ‘New’ Policy Reflections Index