ICT Econ Course

The Economics of Information and Communication Technology

This page is for students taking Economics 3270 at Vanderbilt University.

Course Description

Advances in information and communications technology (ICT) have had a transformative effect on both our society and economy. The first Internet browser was released only 25 years ago, but cloud computing, social networks, ecommerce, streaming content, big data, analytics, informatics, VOIP, MOOC, MMOG and open source software are now part of our daily lives. Emerging technologies such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, and blockchain, will have enormous impact in the next several years. Economists are certainly aware of these innovations, but economic research in ICT is limited and scattered. This course will survey what economics has to say about ICT and try to outline what still needs to be done. Students should gain an understanding of how these technologies came into being, how they fit together, and where they might lead us in the future. Class participation will be emphasized.



Below is a link to the first of half of a book I am in the process of writing.  This half is concerned more with technology than economics.

ICT Economics Book – Spring 2018


ICT Economics Syllabus – Fall 2019


None right now


Joseph Abadi and Markus Brunnermeier (2018) “Blockchain Economics” Working paper

Rajeev Alur, Emery Berger, Ann W. Drobnis, Limor Fix, Kevin Fu, Gregory D. Hager, Daniel Lopresti, Klara Nahrstedt, Elizabeth Mynatt, Shwetak Patel, Jennifer Rexford, John A. Stankovic, and Benjamin Zorn (2016) “Systems Computing Challenges in the Internet of Things” https://arxiv.org/abs/1604.

Michael Armbrust, Armando Fox, Rean Griffith, Anthony D. Joseph, Randy Katz, Andy Konwinski, Gunho Lee, David Patterson, Ariel Rabkin, Ion Stoica, and Matei Zaharia (2010) “A View of Cloud Computing”, Communications of the ACM, Vol. 53, pp. 50-58

Ergin Bayrak, John P. Conley and Simon Wilkie (2011) “The Economics of Cloud ComputingKorean Economic Review, Vol. 27, pp. 203-230

Badr Benmammar and Francine Krief (2014) “Game theory applications in wireless networks: A survey” In Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Software Engineering, Parallel and Distributed Systems (SEPADS’14), Gdansk, Poland, 15–17 May 2014; pp. 15–17

John P. Conley (2019) “Proof of Honesty: Coalition-Proof Blockchain Validation without Proof of Work or Stake

John P. Conley, (2019) “Blockchain as a Decentralized Mechanism for Financial Inclusion and Economic Mobility”, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers, VUECON-19-00012

John P. Conley, (2019) “Encryption, Hashing, PPK, and Blockchain: A Simple Introduction”, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers, VUECON-19-00013

John P. Conley, (2019) “Economic Implications of New Technologies for Licensed and Unlicensed Spectrum”, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers, VUECON-19-00011

John P. Conley, (2017) “Blockchain and the Economics of Crypto-tokens and Initial Coin Offerings”, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers, VUECON-17-00008

John P. Conley and Fan-chin Kung (2010) “Private Benefits, Warm Glow and Reputation in the Free and Open Source Software Production Model” Journal of Public Economic Theory, (Special issue edited by Ted Bergstrom, Parkash Chander and Lise Vesterlund), Vol. 12, No. 4, pp. 665-689

Jason Dedrick, Vijay Gurbaxani, and Kenneth L. Kraemer (2003) “Information Technology and Economic Performance: A Critical Review of the Empirical EvidenceACM Computing Surveys, Vol. 35, No. 1, pp. 1–28.

Primavera De Filippi and Benjamin Loveluck, B. (2016) “The invisible politics of Bitcoin: governance crisis of a decentralised infrastructure” Internet Policy Review, 5(3). DOI: 10.14763/2016.3.427

Yossi Gilad, Rotem Hemo, Silvio Micali, Georgios Vlachos, Nickolai Zeldovich (2017) “Algorand: Scaling byzantine agreements for cryptocurrencies” in Proc. 26th ACM Symp. Operating Syst. Principles, pp. 51–68

Ericsson Mobility Report (2019) https://www.ericsson.com/en/mobility-report/reports/june-2019

Ittay Eyal and Emin Gün Sirer (2014) “Majority is not enough: Bitcoin mining is vulnerable” Financial Cryptography and Data Security 18th International Conference, FC 2014, pp. 436–454.

Yossi Gilad, Rotem Hemo, Silvio Micali, Georgios Vlachos, Nickolai Zeldovich (2017) “Algorand: Scaling byzantine agreements for cryptocurrencies” in Proc. 26th ACM Symp. Operating Syst. Principles, pp. 51–68

Avi Goldfarb and Catherine Tucker (2019) “Digital EconomicsJournal of Economic Literature Vol.57 pp. 3–43

Joseph Y. Halpern and Rafael Pass (2015) “Algorithmic Rationality: Game Theory with Costly ComputationJournal of Economic Theory Vol 156, pp. 246-268

Houy, Nicolas (2014) “It will cost you nothing to “kill” a proof-of-stake crypto-currency” Economics Bulletin, Vol. 34, pp. 1038-1044.

Aggelos Kiayias, Elias Koutsoupias, Maria Kyropoulou, and Yiannis Tselekounis (2016) “Blockchain Mining Games” eprint arXiv:1607.02420

Georg von Krogh and Eric von Hippel (2003) “Special issue on open source software development” Research Policy, Vol. 32 pp. 1149–1157

Jeffrey MacKie-Mason and Hal Varian (2006) “Some Economics of the Internet”, Working paper

Josh Lerner and Jean Tirole (2005) “The Economics of Technology Sharing: Open Source and Beyond”, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Vol. 19, pp. 99-120

Yuan Liu and and Chunyan Miao (2016) “A Survey of Incentives and Mechanism Design for Human Computation Systems” eprint arXiv:1602.03277

D. Mazières (2016) “The Stellar Consensus Protocol: A Federated Model for Internet-level Consensus” White Paper, https://www.stellar.org/papers/stellar-consensus-protocol.pdf

Mary Meeker (2017) “Internet Trends 2017 – Code Conference” Slide Deck, kpcb.com/InternetTrends

Picornell, Miguel, Tomás Ruiz, Maxime Lenormand, Jose Javier Ramasco, Thibaut Dubernet, and Enrique Frias-Martinez (2015) “Exploring the potential of phone call data to characterize the relationship between social network and travel behavior” Transportation Vol. 42, 42.10.1007/s11116-015-9594-1

Paul Milgrom, Jonathan Levin and Assaf Eilat (2011) “The Case for Unlicensed Spectrum” Discussion papers, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research

Christian Rathgeb and Andreas Uhl (2011) “A Survey on Biometric Cryptosystems and Cancelable BiometricsEURASIP Journal on Information Security Vol 2011, Article number: 3

Eric Raymond (2000) “Homesteading the Noosphere”, Working paper

Eric Raymond (2000) “The Cathedral and the Bazaar”, Working paper

Eric Raymond (2000), “Revenge of the Hackers”, Working paper

Richard Thanki (2009) “The Economic Value Generated by Current and Future Allocations of Unlicensed Spectrum” Perspective Associates, http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7020039036.

Hal Varian (2003) “Economics of Information Technology”, Working paper

Hal Varian (2005) “Copying and Copyright”, Working paper

Simon Wilkie (2016) “Economic Perspectives on the Digital Transformation” Power Point Deck