Center for the Economics of the Internet

The core requirements for a well-functioning market are the same, whether on or off the Internet: clear property rights, clear contract rights, competition, and an absence of government interference. These simple but powerful ideas are rarely reflected in federal Internet-policy debates, however. Instead, federal agencies generally proceed from an assumption of “Internet exceptionalism”: a view of the Internet in which property rights, contract rights, and competition are unimportant; ordinary principles of economics do not apply; and government has a responsibility to regulate with unusual intensity—and without constraint.

The Internet plays an increasingly central role in American daily life. And the policy challenges it presents us are broad and varied: demands for ever faster broadband service; disincentives and impediments to Internet infrastructure investments; heightened concerns about privacy and the security of personal information; threats to the integrity of commercial transactions on the Internet; and regular controversies over the proper scope and depth of intellectual property rights protections.

Rejecting “Internet exceptionalism” as an ineffective and inappropriate approach to such problems—harmful to business and consumers alike, and corrosive of traditional boundaries separating America’s public and private realms—Hudson Institute’s Center for the Economics of the Internet pursues an energetic program of research and debate intended to highlight the continuing importance and utility of clearly defined property and contract rights in the digital sphere.

Center for the Economics of the Internet Advisory Board
Harold Furchtgott-Roth, Hudson Institute, Founder and Director
Robert M. McDowell, Hudson Institute
Viet Dinh, Georgetown University Law School
Richard Epstein, New York University School of Law
Robert Hahn, Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, University of Oxford
Jerry Hausman, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Thomas W. Hazlett, George Mason University School of Law
Bruce Owen, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, Stanford University
Greg Sidak, Criterion Economics
Christopher S. Yoo, University of Pennsylvania Law School

Policy Center News

Robert M. McDowell quoted in Wall Street Journal on regulating the Internet

Harold Furchtgott-Roth featured on Multichannel News on the FCC and a potential “internet tax”

Robert McDowell quoted in U.S. News on the net neutrality debate

Robert McDowell quoted in Forbes Online on net neutrality

Robert M. McDowell quoted in Variety on the Supreme Court’s decision on Aereo

Robert McDowell quoted in The Wall Street Journal on the FCC and net neutrality

Robert McDowell quoted in Los Angeles Times on the new FCC Chairman

Robert M. McDowell quoted in The Wall Street Journal on internet governance

Robert McDowell quoted in AFP on internet governance

Robert McDowell quoted in The Wall Street Journal on Internet freedom

Robert M. McDowell quoted in the New York Times on the FCC and Net Neutrality

Robert McDowell appointed to high-level international panel on the future of Internet governance.

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The Economics of Net Neutrality October 1st Event

A Conversation with Representative Anna Eshoo September 18 Event

How Much is the Internet Worth to the U.S. Economy? September 8th Event

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