July 31, 2003

The Information Economy Is Still Coming

Just because there are no dot-com fortunes being made by garage entrepreneurs and venture capitalists doesn't mean that the information age and the information economy have gone away:

Digital (Fill in the Blank) Is on the Horizon: The technology world has been preoccupied in recent years by the boom-and-bust investment cycle... the dot-com bubble... the Nasdaq.... But there has been no such boom-and-bust cycle in the embrace of digital technology and its promise of benefits for communication, automation and new forms of art. And consumers, rather than paring back, are increasingly turning to all sorts of digital gadgets and services--cameras, music players, videodisc players, advanced television sets, cellphones, instant messaging, e-mail, online shopping, high-speed Internet access. "It's a step-by-step upward trend," said Nicholas Donatiello, president of Odyssey, a market research firm in San Francisco. Since 1999, just before the technology boom collapsed, the percentage of households in the United States with personal computers... has... increased to 64 percent from 50 percent... the share of households online has risen to 59 percent from 33 percent, and the use of digital cameras has climbed to 17 percent of households from less than 3 percent.... Digital cameras are expected to outsell film-based cameras this year in the United States... And in the first six months of 2003, the value of DVD rentals at video stores outpaced VHS tape rentals...

Posted by DeLong at July 31, 2003 09:20 PM | TrackBack

Comments

Question is, can anyone actually make money at it in the long run? It's damn hard to do. Not very surprisingly, the telecomm carriers and equipment manufacturers are doing well. But anyone else?

Posted by: Randolph Fritz on July 31, 2003 11:35 PM

Most of these things are made by companies in the fareast, so I wouldn't see it as a terribly positive thing for the US. Those that are made in the US don't seem terribly profitable.

Posted by: Cian on August 1, 2003 01:13 AM

Most of these things are made by companies in the fareast, so I wouldn't see it as a terribly positive thing for the US. Those that are made in the US don't seem terribly profitable.

Posted by: Cian on August 1, 2003 01:14 AM

Speaking of the Information Economy... Prof. DeLong, perhaps you could share your thoughts on the economics of Google Ads, which run on your Semi-Daily Journal homepage.

Posted by: Harold Harkleson on August 1, 2003 09:25 AM

Speaking of the Information Economy... Prof. DeLong, perhaps you could share your thoughts on the economics of Google Ads, which run on your Semi-Daily Journal homepage.

Posted by: Harold Harkleson on August 1, 2003 09:30 AM

Brad,

If you don't get with the program -- the information economy started at least ten thousand years ago, making the development of agriculture possible -- then you risk losing the bragging rights for "I helped Jane Jacobs get her Nobel in Economics."

Bob Lucas is on board. I think the Friedmans are. Can I bribe you with T-shirts for the kids: "My daddy helped Jane Jacobs..."?

Posted by: David Lloyd-Jones on August 1, 2003 02:16 PM
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