Beyond the Dot.coms: The Economic Promise of the Internet

Brookings Institution Press
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In just a few years, the Internet has had a visible impact on the daily lives of many Americans. But the recent demise of many of the "dot coms" that symbolized the Internet revolution has raised warning flags about its future. Until now, discussion of the impact of the Internet on the economy has been mostly speculation. In Beyond the Dot.coms, two of the nation's most respected economists articulate the anticipated economic impact of the Internet over the next five years. Drawing from detailed research conducted by the Brookings Task Force on the Internet and the Berkeley Roundtable on the International Economy (BRIE) Internet Task Force (see page 10), Robert Litan and Alice Rivlin address the Internet's potential impacts on productivity, prices, and market structure. The research suggests that the most significant economic impact of the Internet will be its potential to increase productivity growth in the existing economy—with cheaper transactions, greater management efficiency, increased competition and broadened markets, more effective marketing and pricing, and increased consumer choice, convenience, and satisfaction. The greatest impact may not be felt in e-commerce, but rather in a wide range of "old economy" arenas, including health care and government.
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About the author

Robert E. Litan is a senior fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution and vice president for research and policy at the Kauffman Foundation. Among his many books is Good Capitalism, Bad Capitalism, and the Economics of Growth and Prosperity (Yale University Press, 2007), written with William J. Baumol and Carl J. Schramm. Alice M. Rivlin is a senior fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution and visiting professor at the Georgetown Public Policy Institute. She has been director of both the White House Office of Management and Budget and the Congressional Budget Office, and has served as vice chair of the Federal Reserve Board.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Brookings Institution Press
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Published on
May 13, 2004
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Pages
120
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ISBN
9780815798125
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Industries / Computers & Information Technology
Computers / Electronic Commerce
Computers / Internet / Application Development
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Robert E. Litan
The twenty-first-century telecommunications landscape is radically different from the one that prevailed as recently as the last decade of the twentieth century. Robert Litan and Hal Singer argue that given the speed of innovation in this sector, the Federal Communications Commission's outdated policies and rules are inhibiting investment in the telecom industry, specifically in fast broadband networks. This pithy handbook presents the kind of fundamental rethinking needed to bring communications policy in line with technological advances.

Fast broadband has huge societal benefits, enabling all kinds of applications in telemedicine, entertainment, retailing, education, and energy that would have been unthinkable a few years ago. Those benefits would be even greater if the FCC adopted policies that encouraged more broadband providers, especially wireless providers, to make their services available in the roughly half of the country where consumers currently have no choice in wireline providers offering download speeds that satisfy the FCC's current standards.

The authors' recommendations include allowing broadband providers to charge for premium delivery services; embracing a rule-of-reason approach to all matters involving vertical arrangements; stripping the FCC of its merger review authority because both the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department have the authority to stop anticompetitive mergers; eliminating the FCC's ability to condition spectrum purchases on the identity, business plans, or spectrum holdings of a bidder; and freeing telephone companies from outdated regulations that require them to maintain both a legacy copper network and a modem IP network.

These changes and others advanced in this book would greatly enhance consumer welfare with respect to telecommunications services and the applications built around them.

Robert Litan
A detailed look at how economists shaped the world, and how the legacy continues

Trillion Dollar Economists explores the prize-winning ideas that have shaped business decisions, business models, and government policies, expanding the popular idea of the economist's role from one of forecaster to one of innovator. Written by the former Director of Economic Research at Bloomberg Government, the Kauffman Foundation and the Brookings Institution, this book describes the ways in which economists have helped shape the world – in some cases, dramatically enough to be recognized with a Nobel Prize or Clark Medal. Detailed discussion of how economists think about the world and the pace of future innovation leads to an examination of the role, importance, and limits of the market, and economists' contributions to business and policy in the past, present, and future.

Few economists actually forecast the economy's performance. Instead, the bulk of the profession is concerned with how markets work, and how they can be made more efficient and productive to generate the things people want to buy for a better life. Full of interviews with leading economists and industry leaders, Trillion Dollar Economists showcases the innovations that have built modern business and policy. Readers will:

Review the basics of economics and the innovation of economists, including market failures and the macro-micro distinction Discover the true power of economic ideas when used directly in business, as exemplified by Priceline and Google Learn how economists contributed to policy platforms in transportation, energy, telecommunication, and more Explore the future of economics in business applications, and the policy ideas, challenges, and implications

Economists have helped firms launch new businesses, established new ways of making money, and shaped government policy to create new opportunities and a new landscape on which businesses compete. Trillion Dollar Economists provides a comprehensive exploration of these contributions, and a detailed look at innovation to come.

Alice M. Rivlin
The American dream is fading: for nearly two decades, the economy has been performing below par, the quality of life has deteriorated, and the government has not confronted the public problems that concern citizens most. In this provocative book, Alice Rivlin offers a straightforward, nontechnical look at the issues threatening the American dream and proposes a solution: restructure responsibilities between the federal and state government.

Under her plan, the federal government would eliminate most of its programs in education, housing, highways, social services, economic development, and job training, enabling it to move the federal budget from deficit toward surplus. States would pick up these responsibilities, carrying out a "productivity agenda" to revitalize the American economy. Common shared taxes would give the state adequate revenues to carry out their tasks and would reduce intrastate competition and disparities. The federal government would be freer to deal with increasingly complex international issues and would retain responsibility for programs requiring national uniformity. A primary federal job would be the reform of health care financing to ensure control of costs and to mandate basic insurance coverage for everyone.

Published in the summer of 1992, Reviving the American Dream was read by presidential candidate Bill Clinton; by year's end, President Clinton appointed its author, Alice Rivlin, as deputy budget director. Today, the ideal in Rivlin's book—and Rivlin herself—are having an impact inside the administration.

Selected as one of Choice magazine's Outstanding Books of 1993

Robert E. Litan
The twenty-first-century telecommunications landscape is radically different from the one that prevailed as recently as the last decade of the twentieth century. Robert Litan and Hal Singer argue that given the speed of innovation in this sector, the Federal Communications Commission's outdated policies and rules are inhibiting investment in the telecom industry, specifically in fast broadband networks. This pithy handbook presents the kind of fundamental rethinking needed to bring communications policy in line with technological advances.

Fast broadband has huge societal benefits, enabling all kinds of applications in telemedicine, entertainment, retailing, education, and energy that would have been unthinkable a few years ago. Those benefits would be even greater if the FCC adopted policies that encouraged more broadband providers, especially wireless providers, to make their services available in the roughly half of the country where consumers currently have no choice in wireline providers offering download speeds that satisfy the FCC's current standards.

The authors' recommendations include allowing broadband providers to charge for premium delivery services; embracing a rule-of-reason approach to all matters involving vertical arrangements; stripping the FCC of its merger review authority because both the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department have the authority to stop anticompetitive mergers; eliminating the FCC's ability to condition spectrum purchases on the identity, business plans, or spectrum holdings of a bidder; and freeing telephone companies from outdated regulations that require them to maintain both a legacy copper network and a modem IP network.

These changes and others advanced in this book would greatly enhance consumer welfare with respect to telecommunications services and the applications built around them.

Gerard Caprio
Research suggests that if the majority of a country's financial institutions are owned by the state, that country will experience slower financial development, less efficient financial systems, less private sector credit, and slower GDP growth. Yet more than 40 percent of the world's population live in countries in which public sector institutions dominate the banking system. In The Role of State-Owned Financial Institutions: Policy and Practice noted experts discuss the challenges presented by state-owned financial institutions and offer cross-disciplinary solutions for policymakers and banking regulators. The issues include: methods for effectively managing, reforming, and privatizing state-owned banks; the fiscal costs and contingent liabilities of state-owned banks; macroeconomic implications and the impact of state-owned banking on access to credit in an economy; guidance for effective supervision of state-owned banks; managerial perspectives on improving products, human resources, and risk; management case studies of different methods of privatization, such as initial public offerings, employee stock ownership plans, and strategic investors Contributors include David Binns (Beyster Institute), Robert Cull (World Bank), Ron Gilbert (ESOP Services), James A. Hanson (World Bank), Richard Hemming (International Monetary Fund), Fred Huibers (ING Research), Arminio Fraga (formerly Central Bank of Brazil), Nicholas Lardy (Institute for International Economics), David Marston (International Monetary Fund), Moody's Global Investor Service, Herman Mulder (ABN-Amro), William Nichol (Deutsche Bank AG), Urjit Patel (Infrastructure Development Finance Company, India), and P. S. Srinivas (World Bank).
Robert E. Litan
The Future of Domestic Capital Markets in Developing Countries addresses the challenges that countries face as they develop and strengthen capital markets. Based on input from the world's most prominent capital market experts and leading policymakers in developing countries, this volume represents the latest thinking in capital market development. It captures the views of a global gathering of experts, with perspectives from developing and developed countries, from all regions of the world, from the public and private sector.

This volume should be of interest to senior financial sector policymakers from developed and developing countries in securities and exchange commissions, regulators, central banks, ministries of finance, and monetary authorities; private sector executives in stock exchanges, bond markets, venture capital markets, and investment funds; and researchers and academicians with an interest in capital market development in emerging markets. What are the key factors threatening the development and survival of stock exchanges in developing countries? What domestic strategies are needed to protect the future of local markets? Should exchanges consider linkages or alliances? Merging with, or buying up, other exchanges? Demutualization? The volume provides practical guidance on strategies such as nurturing issuers, improving rules and institutions, addressing regulatory challenges, and sequencing reforms. The contributors address a variety of country experiences, and suggest steps that policymakers and practitioners in emerging markets can take to promote an orderly transition toward efficient, well-regulated, and accessible capital markets.

Contributors include Reena Aggarwal (Georgetown University), Alexander S. Berg (World Bank), Alan Cameron (Sydney Futures Exchange), Olivier Fremond (PSACG), Amar Gill (Credit Lyonnais Securities Asia), Gerd Hausler (IMF), Jack Glen (International Finance Corporation), Peter Blair Henry (Stanford University Graduate School of Business), Patricia Jackson (Bank of England), Ruben Lee (Oxford Finance Group), Robert Litan (Brookings Institution), Clemente Luis del Valle (Securities and Exchange Commission of Colombia), Sanket Mohapatra (Columbia University), Alberto Musalem (World Bank), Dilip Kumar Ratha (World Bank), Ajit Singh (University of Cambridge), Philip Suttle (DECPG), V. Sundararajan (IMF), Thierry Tressel (IMF), Philip Turner (Bank for International Settlements), and Piero Ugolini (IMF).

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