Micro EconomicsMicro Economics

These podcasts are based on the Micro Economics column in IEEE Micro. Author Shane Greenstein focuses on a variety of topics, including the adoption of the Internet by households and business, growth of commercial Internet access networks, the industrial economics of platforms, and changes in communications policy.

About Shane Greenstein

Shane Greenstein is the Elinor and Wendell Hobbs Professor of Management and Strategy at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. He is a leading researcher in the business economics of computing, communications and Internet policy. He has been a regular columnist and essayist for IEEE Micro since 1995, where he comments on the economics of microelectronics.

The podcasts were produced by Tim De Chant, Science Writer and Editor for Kellogg Insight, Northwestern University.

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Digital Dark Matter

Shane Greenstein explores instances of "digital dark matter," or important building blocks of the digital economy that contribute value and new functionality, but which are nonpecuniary and so aren't measured directly or recorded in GDP.

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Building Broadband Ahead of Digital Demand

Many governments today, especially outside the US, are considering making large subsidies for broadband. Some governments, such as South Korea's, have already done so, making next-generation broadband widely available. In the US, debates about subsidizing broadband touch two sets of overlapping issues. One set considers the benefits and costs of building wire-line broadband in low-density areas. A second set considers stretching the frontier for broadband far beyond its present capabilities to enable next-generation Internet applications (typically video). Those favoring building ahead of demand are the most dissatisfied, as are those who want to subsidize rural broadband. This podcast considers the economic origins behind that dissatisfaction.

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Gatekeeping Economics

It has become fashionable among Internet and Web watchers to notice threats on the horizon to the open Web. Economics tends not to take such an alarmist approach to the future of the Web, viewing it with more equanimity or acquiescence, depending on your perspective.

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Digitization and Value Creation

Often, the simplest economic questions are the hardest to answer. Consider these: How much economic value did the massive decline in the cost of digitization in the last two decades create? And, would a similar level of decline in the next decade create the same amount of value?

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Standardization and Coordination

Modern computing markets need standards to function. Arguably, the need became greater with the rise of an ever-more connected network and applications. In this issue's column, the author counts five distinct ways public standards coordinate market behavior.

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