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About IEP

We were repeatedly struck by the paucity of data relating to the economic characteristics and performance of the telecommunications industry. The field of telecommunications has thus far not generated anything like the amount of serious policy research that its importance justifies…

To ensure that the government is exposed to a steady flow of independent, critical and creative ideas, we believe that an institute and preferably more than one institute, for communication policy training and research should be developed outside the government. Such institutes should undertake the advanced interdisciplinary training of communications experts – economists, lawyers, engineers, management experts, social scientists and others – to deal with problems of communications policy which transcend the confines of any single discipline.

These sentiments were expressed in 1968 by Eugene V. Rostow, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, in a report to President Lyndon B. Johnson. Yet, Rostow’s observation of a "paucity" of independent research on telecommunications policy still rings true today. The Information Economy Project’s mission is to answer Rostow’s call for empirically-driven law and economics analysis of the Information Sector.

Where Law & Economics Meets Telecommunications Policy

Public policy in the Information Economy is central to the health of the global economy, invokes fundamental free speech issues and determines how our basic social and economic institutions are shaped. Fundamental debates rage – and should -- about the nature of the cyberspace, the network of networks, intellectual property rules and the nature of property rights in radio spectrum. These questions have broad implications for law and economics. More importantly, perhaps, is that law and economics can help to fruitfully answer the questions, improving social understanding and leading to better policy decisions about the challenges that confront new markets and emerging technologies.

World-Class Policy Research

Created in 2005 with support from the George Mason University Foundation and Law School, the Information Economy Project moved in 2014 to Clemson University. Today it looks forward to expanding its programs to tackle an ever-wider array of public policy issues. The Information Economy is central to the health of the global economy, can limit or expand free speech, and will help determine how our basic social and economic institutions are shaped. IEP attempts to bring academic rigor to issues of deep social significance.