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Newsletter – Volume 54,
July/August 2019

Featured Topic

Data-Driven Economy: Challenges and Opportunities

The transformation of data into an independent and strategic asset poses challenges for companies, regulators and policymakers alike. On 17 June 2019 in Berlin, together with the German Economic Institute (IW), Intereconomics hosted a conference on the “Data-Driven Economy” to reflect on the challenges and opportunities of competition policy, business models and data governance.

In order to guide the data-driven economy to benefit the greater good, regulators and policymakers will have to refine an often inefficient legal and regulatory framework. Justus Haucap opened the event with a look at direct and indirect network effects and the challenges they pose for regulators with regards to competition and competition policy for platform markets. On the business side, Markus Spiekermann looked at tools such as marketplaces to utilise data as an asset and monetise data.

During the conference as well as here in this issue, Barbara Engels, Bruno Carballa Smichowski and Max von Grafenstein discussed their perspectives on – and varying models of – data governance. From the role data governance plays as an enabler of the data economy to its role in enhancing innovation and welfare, our discussants clearly showed that there is no “one-size-fits-all” model of this concept.

As we prepared to send this issue to print, we conducted final reviews with our authors who were on planes, trains and on top of mountains. To everyone heading out on summer holidays, we wish you a relaxing vacation and may we recommend taking the latest issue of Intereconomics with you to the beach or wherever you may be heading – it makes excellent summer reading. ;-)

A Closer Look

Two Views of the International Monetary System

Barry Eichengreen breaks down the two schools of thought on the future of the international monetary system, named after two top schools: Harvard University and the University of California Berkeley. The 'Harvard view' postulates that there is a striking degree of persistence in the structure of the system, which is dollar-based and U.S. led to a large extent. Whereas the 'Berkeley view' believes that the system is evolving toward a multipolar world in which several consequential international and reserve currencies will coexist, countries will no longer rely exclusively or even mainly on the U.S. for international liquidity, and governance will be a collective endeavor. Find out which view Eichengreen espouses in this article. Spoiler alert: he is a Berkeley professor.

Competition and Competition Policy in a Data-Driven Economy

How has the digital economy changed value chains and competitive processes in many industries and markets? Justus Haucap explains the importance of digital platforms and why data is so essential to so many industries. While data has been referred to as the 'new oil' of this century, Haucap jokes that although both data and oil may be extracted via platforms, they are still different in that data is non-rival in use and is not only non-exhaustible, but growing. These differences have substantial consequences for competiton policy, as Haucap lays out in this article.

Access to Data Will Change the World Power Structure

Access to data - not Artificial Intelligence - and countries' management of that data will determine the future world power structure, says data scientist Lutz Finger. As the way in which data is used is a societal decision, different countries will regulate data and how to use predictions made from it differently. For example, in Europe, car insurance companies may not take gender data into account when determining insurance rates whereas this data is permissible in the US. While Europe has established its signature legislation on privacy, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Chinese government's relative lack of regulation and the behavioral information they are able to collect may give them a competitive edge.


In the Next Issue

Green Deal for Europe

with contributions from leading economists and environmental scientists.

Europe’s Search for Superstar Firms: The Puzzle of European Champions

by Elisabeth Bublitz

About the Economic Psychology of Public Debt

by Thomas Döring and Ruwen D. Öhmke


Quote of the Month

A clear awareness of what data governance is and how it materialises is essential for the respective organisation in order to become more data-driven and hence be able to exploit the potential of the data economy.

from Barbara Engels' Forum article Data Governance as the Enabler of the Data Economy


About Intereconomics – Review of European Economic Policy

Intereconomics is jointly produced by ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics and the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS). The journal appears bimonthly and features papers by economists that deal with economic and social policy issues and trends in Europe or affecting Europe. To submit a paper for publication, please visit the Submissions section of our website for relevant information.

Intereconomics is published by Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

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