The Digital Economy
Professor Jean Shackelford
Coleman Hall 165
"a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention."
INSTRUCTOR: Professor Jean Shackelford
OFFICE HOURS: W 9-12 , Others by appointment (Coleman 165)
ADDRESSES: e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org,
phone: X- 73441
Requried Text: Linda Low. Economics of
Information Technology and the Media. World Scientific, Singapore University
This course will develop and utilize economic principles to better understand
and explain the expansion and integration of information and communications
technologies into the US and global economies. It will provide an introduction
to concepts and theories useful in analyzing economic aspects of the digital
and information technology revolutions. While the course will review the
interdisciplinary developments driving many of these changes, it will focus
primarily on the economic aspects.
COURSE OUTLINE & READING ASSIGNMENTS:
| February | March | April
Article Reviews and Other Writing Assignments
Introduction-- January 17 - Introduction to the course--goals,
objectives, assignments, grading,
January 22 - 29th - Part 1 The Economics of Information
Overview of IT and the Media - linking the information economy and the
digital economy -Chapter 1 ( to pp.22)
January 31 - Basic Economic Concepts and Principles- Chapter 2
February 5 - Market Structure and Competition - exploring the economic
impact of the digital economy and the digital revolution Chapter 3
February 7 - Conclude Chapter 3 of Low Hal Varian's "Economics
of Information Technology" or "High
Technology Industries and Market Structure."with Groups preparing
the following for class on Thursday, February 7th.
February 12 - We will begin a discussion of the Free Software
or Open Source Movement with the GNU
February 14 - Continue the examination of the Open Software movement
by discussing Linux --reading the Cathedral
and the Bazaar. Also read one article from the "popular or wired
press" about Linux. Perhaps one of the articles at Wired on 'The Linux Effect'.
February 19- Begining to explore the Microsoft Monopoly case. Readings:
"Comment on the Revised Proposed Final Judgement." Robert E. Litan,
Roger G. Noll and William D. Nordhaus, January, 2002. (This is a 75 page
report available for downloading by clicking in the box at the top of the
page that begins NEW at this Bookings
February 21 - Continue exploring the case against/proposed settlements
of the Microsoft
Monopoly Case (review one of the articles in this Washington Post archive)
and the AOL/TimeWarner and Microsoft Oligopoly - "In
AOL's Suit Against Microsoft, the Key Word is Access." Revies the
Microsoft/DOJ time line from the Washington
Optional: "An Economists Guide to U.S. v. Microsoft" by Richard
J. Gilbert and Michael L. Katz. Journal of Economic Perspectives, Volume
15, No 2, Spring 2001, pp. 25-44 (also on e-reserves)
February 26 - Conclude market structures discussion. Please read "Book World: Chipping
Away" by Clive Thompson. We will begin Part II Players and Markets
in IT and the Media - Institutions in the digital economy - IT and Media
Markets (Computer Industry, Broadcast Industry, TV, Radio, Recording and
Motion Pictures and Newspapers - Read Low Chatper 4, and A
New Life for Networks in the 2/21/02 New York Times.
February 28 - IT Labour and Employment read Low
Chapter 6 and Wiring the Labor Market.on ereserves
Optional: Lawrence F. Katz - "Technological
Change, Computerization, and Wage Structure." (PDF to download)
March 5 - INTERVIEW PROJECT on labor and the digital economy - project
design for the Knowledge Economy and the impact on work and workers. (Possible interview questions.)
Examination, March 7
March 8-18 - Spring Break
March 19 - Review Exams, discuss work and productivity issues. Go over
March 21 - Productivity in the digital age (reading assignment handed
out in class).
March 26 - Interview Project draft due. B2B and P2P, and B2C. Read Low,
Chapter 7 (pages 163-181) and 8 pages (181-192) - Technology and the Market,
Convergence and education - the MIT Opencourseware project
March 28 - The Digital Economy and the Music Industry - Napster and MP3
Update on the Napster case
b. A new bill aimed at protecting copyright - Anti
copy bill slams coders--from Wired
and Social Drivers of Change in the Online Music Industry or Music in
the Age of Free Distribution
April 2 - Napster, Property Rights, Copyright and the Digital Economy
April 4 - The Digital Economy and Privacy Regulation, Encryption and
Dilemma: Is it Possible to guarantee both security and privacy?" by
to US: No privacy, no trade," by Simon Daves
guide ot online privacy"
d. Low, pages 228-237
April 9 - Take a look at the articles linked in a PC
Magazine series on Protecting your Privacy.
Here are some links where you can explore some privacy "tools."
(Thanks to PC Mag, and S.Utke)
April 11 - Part III Public Policy and the Global Economy. How does
the digital economy affect economic policy-National Information Policy
- IT and the Media in the Global Economy -
a. Low - Chapter 9 and 10
of Information: Intellectual Property Law Implications," by Kim
April 16 - Macroeconomic Policy and the Digital Economy - Silicon
Valley's Spy Game from the New York times and sections of Martin Baily's
Macroeconomics Implications of the New Economy.
April 18 - Issues in Media and Information Economics - Low, Chapter 11,
and specific elements of the Digital Divide -Donna L. Hoffman
and Thomas P. Novak - "The
Growing Digital Divide: Implications for Open Research Agenda."
(PDF to download)
April 23 - Cultures - the digital economy and development - Heather Hudson - "Extending
Access to the Digital Economy to Developing Regions." (PDF to download)
Next Economy - J. Bradford De Long and A. Michael Froomkin
April 25 and 30 Final Projects Presentations
May 7, 8:00 AM - Final Examination
Class Discussion/Preparation/Participation: (20%)
Includes daily preparation of assigned materials and reflection about material
in reading assignments and participation in class discussions. (Make sure
that you are have scanned theNew York Times for relevant articles
and read all assigned articles.) You must be present in class to participate
(see below for attendance expectations.)
Written Assignments: (50 percent)
There will be two examinations during the course of the semester.
If you would like to discuss your written work or class participation, please
feel free to stop in my office, (Coleman 165) to discuss your progress.
Attendance. (standards for your class participation grade) Please
arrange your appointments for job interviews or participation in sports
events at other times than class meetings. Since participation is a large
part of evaluation, class absences will be reflected in your grade for the
In addition to the above, you may use the following as an attendance guide
which will be part of my assessing "Class Discussion":
4.0 Perfect attendance. Always well prepared and contributes actively
in most classes.
3.0 90% attendance. Almost always well prepared and usually contributes
2.0 80% attendance. Usually prepared and contributes actively to
about half of the classes.
1.0 At least 50% attendance. Only prepared about half of the time.
Contributes actively about 20 % of the time.
0.0 Attends occasionally. Poor preparation.
Academic Responsibility. Students in this course, as in all others,
will be held to the highest standards of academic responsibility. Bucknell
has a clearly published policy on academic responsibility, which can be
found in the section on regulations in your Student Handbook, in the Catalog,
and on the web:
"Bucknell students are responsible for the preparation and presentation
of work representing their own efforts. Acceptance of this responsibility
is essential to the educational process and must be considered as an expression
of mutual trust, the foundation upon which creative scholarship rests. Students
are directed to use great care when preparing all written work and to acknowledge
fully the source of all ideas and language other than their own." (Bucknell
Catalog, 2001-02, p. 284).
Possible readings or articles to review.
CTNet - The
end of the begining of the digital economy
John Haltwinger and Ron Jarmin - "Measuring
the Digital Economy" (PDF to download)
Brent Moulton - "GDP
and the Digital Economy: Keeping up with the Changes" (PDF to download)
Paul David - "Understanding
Digital Technology"s Evolution and the Path of Measured Productivity
Growth Past Present and Future in the Mirror of the Past." (PDF
Shand Greenstein - "The
Evolving Structure of Commercial Internet Markets." (PDF to download)
Hal Varian - "Market
Structure in the Network Age." (PDF to download)
Sulin Ba, Andrew Whinston, and Han Zhang - "Small
Companies in the Digital Economy." (PDF to download)
Josh Lerner - "Small
Businesses, Innovation, and Public Policy of the Information Technology
Industry." (PDF to download):
Special Report: Business Week, October 4, 1999 - The
Special Report: New
York Times on E-Commerce
Conference on The Digital Economy
--Department of Commerce