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.