Measuring the Internet Economy: A Contribution to the Research Agenda

Front Cover
The Internet began as a way of linking different computers over the phone network, but it now connects billions of users worldwide from wherever they happen to be via portable or fixed devices. The Internet began as an important tool for improving communication but has transformed into a universal technology supporting all virtually sectors across the economy, just like electricity or steam engine did in the past. Given the growing importance of the Internet as a policy tool, the question about the value of the Internet economy becomes particularly relevant. There is a high level of interest, therefore, in being able to measure the size of the Internet economy as a way to understand the effects of various investment strategies, regulatory rulings and policy decisions. The existing OECD research presented in this report and in the Internet Economy Outlook illustrates the importance of establishing an international definition and the need to develop related policies. According to one of the approaches, at least 3.2% and up to 13.8% of business sector value added in the United States in 2011 could be attributed to Internet-related activities depending on the scope of the definition. It needs to be highlighted that the respective figures for 2010 were 3% and up to 13%. This indicates that the Internet economy has reported a steady growth rate since 2010.

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