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Economic doctrines and network policy


  • Atkinson, Robert D.


Disagreements over how to craft Internet policy have become more and more contentious and political. Beyond the technical and engineering aspects are economic questions, and the points of view of various stakeholders and participants on such network policy issues stem from differing economic philosophies. This paper postulates and describes four competing economic doctrines: conservative neoclassical, liberal neoclassical, neo-Keynesian, and innovation economics. It explains how each doctrine leads to different views of appropriate network policy and explores the influence of doctrine on four controversial network policy issues: broadband competition, net neutrality, copyright, and privacy. Understanding this doctrine based source of differences over network policy should help policy makers better understand core issues and make more informed policy decisions.

Suggested Citation

  • Atkinson, Robert D., 2011. "Economic doctrines and network policy," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 413-425, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:telpol:v:35:y:2011:i:5:p:413-425

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Patrick Rey & Jean Tirole, 1998. "Network Competition: I. Overview and Nondiscriminatory Pricing," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(1), pages 1-37, Spring.
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    3. Paul Klemperer, 1995. "Competition when Consumers have Switching Costs: An Overview with Applications to Industrial Organization, Macroeconomics, and International Trade," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(4), pages 515-539.
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    5. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Marcus, Scott & Rey, Patrick & Tirole, Jean, 2003. " Internet Interconnection and the Off-Net-Cost Pricing Principle," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(2), pages 370-390, Summer.
    6. Armstrong, Mark, 1998. "Network Interconnection in Telecommunications," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(448), pages 545-564, May.
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    8. Cremer, Jacques & Rey, Patrick & Tirole, Jean, 2000. "Connectivity in the Commercial Internet," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(4), pages 433-472, December.
    9. Jean Tirole, 1988. "The Theory of Industrial Organization," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262200716, July.
    10. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 2001. "Competition in Telecommunications," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262621509, July.
    11. Rey, Patrick & Tirole, Jean, 2007. "A Primer on Foreclosure," Handbook of Industrial Organization, Elsevier.
    12. Jean-Jacques Laffont, 2001. "Internet Peering," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 287-291, May.
    13. Badasyan, Narine & Chakrabarti, Subhadip, 2008. "A simple game-theoretic analysis of peering and transit contracting among Internet service providers," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 4-18, February.
    14. repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:3:p:645-667 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Foros, Oystein & Jarle Kind, Hans & Yngve Sand, Jan, 2005. "Do internet incumbents choose low interconnection quality?," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 149-164, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Yu, Jiang & Zhang, Yue & Gao, Ping, 2012. "Examining China's technology policies for wireless broadband infrastructure," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 847-857.
    2. Cecere, Grazia & Rochelandet, Fabrice, 2013. "Privacy intrusiveness and web audiences: Empirical evidence," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(10), pages 1004-1014.
    3. Atkinson, Robert D. & Hackler, Darrene, 2010. "Economic Doctrines and Approaches to Climate Change Policy," MPRA Paper 29718, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. repec:oup:scippl:v:44:y:2017:i:5:p:620-630. is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Gregory Tassey, 2010. "Rationales and mechanisms for revitalizing US manufacturing R&D strategies," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 35(3), pages 283-333, June.
    6. Medeisis, Arturas & Minervini, Leo Fulvio, 2013. "Stalling innovation of Cognitive Radio: The case for a dedicated frequency band," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 108-115.


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