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Econ 452 Fall 2010

Possible ideas for WB contributions


This is a partial list of areas which could be covered in the book. Many of these areas are quite large, and could be partially covered as a complete project. There are certainly other possible areas not (yet) included here.


  • network externalities
  • two-sided platforms
  • network structure
  • piracy - (someone is planning to do this)
  • standards (HTML, Flash, etc.)
  • compatibility
  • open-source (software and other)
  • intellectual property
  • network neutrality
  • innovation
  • collaborative filtering
  • globalization
  • computer-aided-manufacturing (3D printing)
  • virtual workspace
  • Electronic delivery of content
  • Overlapping of digital and realspace
  • non-digital information goods (pharmaceuticals?)
  • information technology back-end (inventory, relationship management...)
  • legal and anti-trust
  • business-to-business
  • how to market high quality
  • DRM (digital rights management)
  • HTML5 (will this change business, or is it purely technical?)
  • search engine optimization

Specific industries[edit]

  • computer games (single-player)
  • computer games (multiplayer)
  • Online game economies
  • social networking
  • News (newspapers, etc.)
  • e-Books
  • music
  • movies

Specific companies/products[edit]

Mostly, I don't think it's wise to focus on specific companies, unless as a case study for more general principles. However, certain aspects of the information/internet economy are so concentrated in a few companies that it could be worthwhile to look at these dominant companies or products.

Ways to contribute[edit]

The most concrete way to contribute to the book is by covering some topic area well, and linking it conceptually with the rest of the book. However, there are other ways that you could contribute. Likely it would make sense to assign these to a member of your group, but it may be possible for an entire group to focus on something.

For instance:

  • graphics
  • case studies
  • proof-reading, editing
  • formatting

If you have (or want to research) technical knowledge about how something works, and the impact of that technology on the economics of doing business, that could be a valuable contribution.