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The Future Information Structure in Economics

William Goffe () and Robert Parks ()

Microeconomics from University Library of Munich, Germany

Abstract: Computers have greatly improved the lives of economists. Computer networks may dramatically change the way we work. Already we have seen hints with electronic mail, mailing lists, on-line card catalogs, access to U.S. government data, and the start of an on-line working paper culture (nearly 2,000 on-line working papers at last count; see [WPA] and [WoPEc]). This summer, back issues of the AER will go on-line, and across academia, there are almost 200 peer-reviewed electronic journals [VLib] with hundreds of U.K. journals going on-line this year [Hitchcock]. This world exists only in embryonic form---we are now at a cusp point, and any number of outcomes are possible. One possible future continues current practices with little improvement in access to information, albeit with that information traveling over networks.However, we argue that a different future, with more easily accessed information, is more consistent with academic traditions and values, and is now possible. Thus, this paper is a normative, conceptual view of how computer networks should change the way we work. It is also a brief overview; more details can be found in [Okerson], [Scovill], [Peek], [Hitchcock], and many issues of the ``Journal of Electronic Publishing'' [JEP]. A very extensive bibliography is [Bailey]. In addition, rather than a formal model, this paper is intended to start a debate in our profession.

Keywords: information; electronic; publishing (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D23 D83 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 20 pages
Date: 1996-05-08, Revised 1996-12-02
Note: Type of Document - LaTeX; prepared on Sparc TeX; to print on PostScript; pages: 20; figures: none
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Working Paper: The Future Information Structure in Economics (1997) Downloads
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