Economics Technology and Innovation

EC310E Economics Technology and Innovation Winter 2021
W. Morrison
Research Assignment
Write a research report on one of the five research topics listed below. Research assignments are to be co-authored (groups of two). Students may form their own two-person groups on MyLearningSpace in the group category ‘Research Assignment’.
Choose one of the following research topics

1. Privacy.
Is there a market for privacy? If so, how does this market operate? Are current laws and regulations to protect privacy insufficient, sufficient or excessive? What if any potential policy changes can be supported by economic analysis?

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2. Cloud computing.
Should there be ‘cloud neutrality’? That is, should there be common technical standards that promote interoperability between competing cloud infrastructure and platform providers? What are the economic arguments for and against imposing economic or technical regulations on cloud service providers?

3. Patents.
What new insights might economic analysis reveal about the economic impact of law and government policy with respect to patents? Could the current patent environment be improved by government-enforced compulsory licensing on all patent holders?

4. Internet-based market power.
US President Elect Joe Biden has said that splitting up companies such as Facebook was “something we should take a really hard look at” but that it was “premature” to make a final judgment. Other members of the US Congress from both parties have expressed concern about the market power of such firms. What are the economic arguments for and against breaking up large online social network, search and retail platform companies?

5. The ‘Internet of Things’.
What does the emerging market for autonomous vehicles tell us about the economic implications of the ‘internet of things’ (IOT) for production, consumption and for government regulation of markets?
Report Structure
The report should contain the following sections:
• Title page (include all authors and SID)
• Introduction
• A thematic survey of relevant literature.
• Descriptive Data
• Research plan
• Discussion/conclusion
• Bibliography (all references must be cited).
EC310E Economics Technology and Innovation Winter 2021 W. Morrison
Your research report should contain the following:
1. An introduction that uses descriptive facts, media reports and personal observations to motivate your chosen research question along with an outline of the key economic issues and concepts relating to this question.
2. A survey of the economics literature relating to the research question, where possible organized into main themes or issues. The literature survey should end with a conclusion statement that summarizes current thought on the research question.
3. Where possible, present some descriptive data relating to the research question, represented either as data tables or graphs.
4. A research plan to investigate the topic further. Where are the current gaps in our understanding of this topic? Describe the proposed structure of your analysis; what economic model(s) and data and/or empirical tests would be required?
5. Conclusion section that includes at least one hypothesis generated by your research plan.

Report Format
The research report should be no more than 12 pages including all figures and tables.
Font = Times New Roman 12 point; Spacing = 1.5 ; Margins = 1’’

References and citation style
Use APA citation style. See here for more information:

Reference examples:
Carlaw, K. I., & Lipsey, R. G. (2003). Productivity, technology and economic growth: what is the
relationship?. Journal of Economic Surveys, 17(3), 457-495.
Mortimer, J. H., Nosko, C., & Sorensen, A. (2012). Supply responses to digital distribution: Recorded music and live performances. Information Economics and Policy, 24(1), 3-14.

Writing style:
In the text of the report refer to published articles by the surname of the authors and the year of publication in parentheses. In the case of more than two authors, use the surname of the first author followed by ‘et al’. For example to refer to the articles above, write: Carlaw and Lipsey (2003) and Mortimer et al (2012). Use footnotes (not endnotes): place them at the bottom of the page. For more information on Economics Technology and Innovation visit this:

Economics Technology and Innovation

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