The New 'Emergence Economics' of Innovation and Growth, and What it Means for Communications Policy

100 Pages Posted: 8 Dec 2008 Last revised: 29 Sep 2013

Richard S. Whitt

Google Access/Google Inc.

Stephen Schultze

Berkman Center for Internet And Society, Harvard University

Date Written: September 1, 2008

Abstract

This paper introduces the rough formula for Emergence Economics - namely, that individual agents, acting through interconnected networks, engage in the evolutionary market processes of differentiating, selecting, and amplifying certain business plans and technologies, which in turn generates a host of positive emergent economic phenomena. This formula is fueled by the latest findings from physics, biology, psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and plain common sense. The Internet then will be discussed as a notable and perhaps unique product of market and non-market forces, as a modular infrastructure, and as a platform for broad-based innovation. Next the paper will turn to some key emergent phenomena, including ideas, innovation, economic growth, and what we call Net effects such as innovation spillovers. Finally, we will bring these economic and technological elements to bear in the world of communications policy, where a proposed new framework separates out the virtues of tinkering with market gaps and inputs, versus the vices of tampering with evolutionary processes and outcomes.

Keywords: broadband, internet policy, network effects, spillovers, endogenous growth, externalitites, telecommunications

Suggested Citation

Whitt, Richard S. and Schultze, Stephen, The New 'Emergence Economics' of Innovation and Growth, and What it Means for Communications Policy (September 1, 2008). Journal on Telecommunications and High Technology Law, Vol. 7, No. 217, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1311904

Richard S. Whitt (Contact Author)

Google Access/Google Inc. ( email )

1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Second Floor
Mountain View, CA 94043
United States
650-450-1705 (Phone)

Stephen Schultze

Berkman Center for Internet And Society, Harvard University ( email )

Harvard Law School
23 Everett St.
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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