Spring 2014 - 63515 - PA388K - Advanced Topics in Public Policy

Information Technology Policy for a Networked World
The transformative technological innovations of the post-World  War II global economy-- the transistor, the computer, and computer networks-- have created fundamental new challenges to established concepts of privacy, national and personal security, and intellectual property, and have transformed the delivery of entertainment, education, government, and health services, and the economic organization of public utilities and services. Inequality in access to information technology, and information, goods, and services delivered over the Net, has become a parallel and distinctive dimension to the differences in income and wealth among individuals, groups, regions, and nations which have traditionally driven important policy debates. The first half of this class will investigate historical, political, legal, and economic frameworks for understand unique policy issues affecting the adoption, application, use, and misuse of information technology by government, businesses, and individuals. The second half of the class will apply these frameworks to actual case studies of information technology policy issues. Students will be reviewing and presenting on the literature in class on a weekly basis, and will also form teams, and present a group project in class towards the end of the semester, as an integral part of the class. The writeup of the group project will be handed in as a group term paper. The LBJ School's Applied Microeconomics for Policy Analysis, or its equivalent, is a prerequisite for this class.