Economics of Exchange Commons: The Status, Functions and Utility of Infrastructure

November 3, 2006
Columbia University
105 Jerome Green Hall
435 W 116th Street at Amsterdam Avenue
9:00am - 5:00pm

The principle that good institutions and governance create incentives to achieve efficiency- while their neglect can result in a "tragedy of the commons" -applies to all exchange regimes, including "massive coordination" in supply chains and in infrastructure. The themes addressed in this workshop will include some specific to telecommunications as well as broad issues of governance and analysis.

It is the objective of this conference to foster the understanding of the importance of the institutions within which markets and regulation operate and the conditions that are constantly reshaping the conditions of economic exchange. This event targets policymakers and executives as well as academics, and will feature a mix of applications and underlying theories of the exchange commons.

Exchanges, including markets, take place in a real world with real people and their outcomes cannot be reduced to simple optimization problems. To wit, we do not know today the structure that will emerge from debates on issues such as public broadcasting and net neutrality. The parties involved all have a vital stake in an environment that is favorable to them and they all invest to influence the government to create competitive conditions that favor them.

To ignore the principles of the exchange commons or to presume that there is a unique, "optimal" outcome is bound to be misleading. Thus we see that there does not exist a simple, successful outcome to broadband policies. Neither a "market" focus nor greater government involvement ensure success.


9:00 AM Introduction

  • Alain de Fontenay
  • Christiaan Hogendorn
    Wesleyan University

9:15 AM Theory of the Commons

  • The Commons: An Introduction
    Christiaan Hogendorn, Wesleyan University- Chair
  • Reviewing Telecom Policy from a Complexity Theory Perspective
    Barbara Cherry, Indiana University - [presentation]
  • Managing Infrastructure as Commons: Essential Facilities & Network Neutrality
    Brett Frischmann, Loyola University Chicago
  • Discussant:
    Wolfgang Gick, Dartmouth University

11:15 AM Break

11:45 AM Commons and Spillovers

Gary Madden, CITI, Columbia University - Chair

  • Economics of Open Source
    Jean-Pierre Auffret, George Mason University
  • Economic Growth and Inequality in Latin America: A Role for ICT
    Alain Bourdeau de Fontenay-CITI
  • Building Infrastructure from Digital Commons: the Case of Governance and the Digital Business Ecosystem
    Jonathan Liebenau, LSE
  • Discussant:
    José Luis Gómez-Barroso - CITI, Columbia University & Universidad Nacional de Educación, Spain

1:00 PM Lunch

2:15 PM Commons and Government

  • Varieties of Capitalism within Telecommunications Policy: The Case of Broadband Diffusion in Denmark, Austria, Canada and Ireland
    Josep-Maria Castellano and Francesc Miralles, Universitat Pompeu Fabra - [presentation]
  • Network Neutrality
    Tim Wu, Columbia Law School
  • East Asian Countries' Digital Commons - Comparative View on Broadband Policies
    Daeho Kim, CITI, Columbia University and Inha University, Korea - [presentation]
  • Evaluation of Public Broadcasting as the Commons
    Kiyoshi Nakamura, CITI, Columbia University and Waseda University - [presentation]

4:00 PM Synopsis
Christiaan Hogendorn, Wesleyan University

4:15 PM Reception


Please register online at Corporate rate: $50. Academics, government officials, and non-profit attendees: $25. CITI Affiliates: please contact Ben Bloom at 212-854-4222 for special registration arrangements.

Organized by Alain Bourdeau de Fontenay, Christiaan Hogendorn, Jonathan Liebenau, and Kiyoshi Nakamura

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