For some time, I've been collecting a list of interesting essays about the, so called, "New Economy". Thankfully that term has gone beyond hype, beyond backlash (I hope), and can now be used to describe the ideas of a particular period of transformation. Personally, I think some of these ideas are still pretty mind-blowing if we take them seriously, and the jury is still out on whether we should.
I don't teach a course on new economics. But if I did, these are the readings I'd discuss.
Update : Hmm. Now I am actually teaching at a university, maybe I'll pitch some kind of course based on some of this stuff and see if I can get my department interested.
This is work in progress. New readings will be added when I find, and get round to commenting on them. Any errors and criticisms are gratefully received.
BradDeLong sets the scene
- Speculative Microeconomics for Tomorrow's Economy : http://www.j-bradford-delong.net/OpEd/virtual/technet/spmicro.html
The Information Economy
This section of readings is entitled The Information Economy. That information or knowledge is key to modern economic and business understanding is commonplace. However, the analysis often goes no further than to point out how much information processing goes on, how many people are involved in pushing information around, how much knowledge is incorporated into industrial products; and how new ideas often open up new areas for growth.
But information, is not like coal or iron ore. It is not a scarce resource but can be infinitely reproduced. It's value is neither in its being extremely scarce, nor in its being ubiquitous. Getting to grips with the forces at work in the information economy means getting to grips with the special nature of information which effect how it can be produced; who it can be produced by; and why.
A Network Economy
What does it mean to say that we have a Network Economy? Is it just that we use a bunch of electronic networks, or the internet? Why should that make a difference?
What makes the difference is that many things that are going on are "network shaped". And therefore an understanding of networks and their properties will give us some interesting intuitions to work with.
These brief explanations aren't going to be hard, mathematical graph theory, although that's where some of these ideas come from.
List of articles moved to OnNetworks.
- TippingPoint (Summary : http://radio.weblogs.com/0107127/stories/2003/01/01/tippingPointNetVersion.html))
Other Trends and Patterns
** Printing living cells : http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99993292
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