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markets often become highly concentrated, with one dominant firm, because larger players enjoy significant returns to scale.As several recent reports (including one to which I contributed) have pointed out, the digital economy poses a problem for competition policy. Economists even disagree on how to measure static consumer valuations of free digital goods such as online search and social media.The characteristics of digital technology pose a fundamental challenge to the entire discipline. Many digital goods are non-rival "public goods": you can use software code without stopping others from doing so, whereas only one person can wear the same pair of shoes.Yet standard economics generally assumes none of these things. Economists will bridle at this statement, rightly pointing to models that accommodate some features of the digital economy. Should data collection by digital firms be further regulated?Mainstream economics has largely failed to keep up with the rapid pace of digital transformation, and it is struggling to find practical ways to address the growing power of dominant tech companies.
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