NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Digital Infrastructure

Shane Greenstein


This chapter is a preliminary draft unless otherwise noted. It may not have been subjected to the formal review process of the NBER. This page will be updated as the chapter is revised.

Chapter in forthcoming NBER book Economics of Infrastructure Investment, Edward L. Glaeser and James M. Poterba, editors
Conference held November 15-16, 2019
Forthcoming from University of Chicago Press

What determines the supply of innovative digital infrastructure and how does variance in supply shape the performance of digital services? The essay reviews research into the economic impact of deployment, innovation, and adoption of digital infrastructure. It distinguishes between household and business use of access, and describes where improvement to digital infrastructure benefits both sets of users. Despite its importance for economic performance, frontier digital infrastructure operates at a distinctive and evolving boundary between public and private, which frames many research questions. The essay focuses on the experience in the United States and it covers the global experience when possible. It stresses the large number of unanswered policy-relevant research questions where economic analysis could inform discussion.

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Commentary on this chapter: Comment, Catherine Tucker
 
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