Jun 28, 2018

Hal Varian Weighs in on the History of the Internet’s Decentralization

From the The Economist

The story of the internet is all about layers

IN “INFORMATION RULES”—published in 1999 but still one of the best books on digital economics—Carl Shapiro and Hal Varian, two economists, popularised the term “network effects”, which means that in the digital world size easily begets size....

Yet Mr Varian is not too happy about how his intellectual offspring is being used, and abused. “The only thing more dangerous than an economist is an amateur economist,” he said at a conference in Brussels in late 2016, “and there are a lot of amateur economists out there who like to talk about network effects.”...


Hal Varian is an emeritus professor at the Berkeley School of Information and was the School’s founding dean.

Last updated:

July 9, 2018