Economics of digitization

The economics of digitization is the field of economics that studies how digitization, digitalisation and digital transformation affects markets and how digital data can be used to study economics. Digitization is the process by which technology lowers the costs of storing, sharing, and analyzing data. This has changed how consumers behave, how industrial activity is organized, and how governments operate. The economics of digitization exists as a distinct field of economics for two reasons. First, new economic models are needed because many traditional assumptions about information no longer hold in a digitized world. Second, the new types of data generated by digitization require new methods for their analysis.

Research in the economics of digitization touches on several fields of economics including industrial organization, labor economics, and intellectual property. Consequently, many of the contributions to the economics of digitization have also found an intellectual home in these fields. An underlying theme in much of the work in the field is that existing government regulation of copyright, security, and antitrust is inappropriate in the modern world. For example, information goods, such as news articles and movies, now have zero marginal costs of production and sharing. This has made the redistribution without permission common and has increased competition between providers of information goods. Research in the economics of digitization studies how policy should adapt in response to these changes.


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