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Welcome to the DigEcon Research website.
DigEcon Research is a specialist policy research organisation focussed on the policy issues associated with the Digital Economy.
Some content that used to be on the Havyatt Associates website can now be found here.
DigEcon Research is the research unit of Havyatt Associates. Ultimately, its pursuit is policy research, the focus of which is the meaning and significance of the Digital Economy. This policy research encompasses both economic and social research.
Researching the significance of the Digital Economy
The concept generally referred to as the Digital Economy is frequently discussed but there is little shared meaning in the term. A key definitional issue is whether the Digital Economy is something yet to happen or in which we are now embedded.
DigEcon Research focuses on the analysis of social and economic change rather than an analysis of a notionally static “Digital Economy”. Analysis of the change as it occurs should highlight those areas where there is genuine policy choice rather than merely a need to adapt policy to changes that have already occurred.
Before Thomas Kuhn popularised the idea of “paradigms” J.K.Galbraith railed against the “conventional wisdom”. There is no denying that what Kuhn called “normal science” or the repeated application of existing theory to new problems results in most practical developments. It is equally true that the application of existing theory to problems they were not designed for results in, at best, vacuous solutions and, at worst, wildly dangerous outcomes.
The Digital Economy challenges the fundamental concepts of neo-classical economics. It also challenges most of the precepts of how societies are organised. In this context policy research needs to focus on what is different, not on what is the same. The Digital Economy is not just a matter of means of production but about the fundamental structures of social organisation.
This research is designed both to inform policy makers and to assist those who would seek to influence policy makers or to make business decisions. DigEcon Research however does not provide strategy recommendations nor undertake policy advocacy on behalf of any party.
A key element of the research will
relate to the direct regulation of the converging industries of
telecommunications, media, consumer electronics and information
technology. However, the agenda encompasses the wider economic and
social policy issues.
In the crowded Australian research
field there are a number of “bodies” that share some of the objectives
of DigEcon Research. DigEcon Research aspires to contribute to the work
of these and any other researchers in the field.