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The digital economy is

[t]he global network of economic and social activities that are enabled by information and communications technologies, such as the internet, mobile and sensor networks.[1]


The digital economy is

the network of suppliers and users of digital content and technol­ogies that enable everyday life. Digital content and technol­ogies are ubiquitous and critical to almost every activity in our economy and society. These applications enable businesses to be innovative and productive; help governments to provide services; and allow citizens to interact, to transmit and to share information and knowledge.[2]


The digital economy (also called the online economy) is

an economy that is based on electronic goods and services produced by an electronic business and traded through electronic commerce. That is, a business with electronic production and management processes and that interacts with its partners and customers and conducts transactions through Internet and Web-based technologies.

The digital economy is "[t]he portion of the economy that relies directly on computer technology."[3]

United States[]

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)

includes in its definition of the digital economy three major types of goods and services: (1) the digital-enabling infrastructure needed for an interconnected computer network to exist and operate, (2) the e-commerce transactions that take place using that system, and (3) digital media, which is the content that digital economy users create and access. Because of the limitations of available data, BEA's initial estimates include only goods and services that are 'primarily digital.' This means that some components of the digital economy, like peer-to-peer (P2P) e-commerce, also known as the sharing economy, are excluded from the initial estimates. P2P transactions such as ride-sharing services rely on Internet-enabled devices to match supply and demand, but also have a nondigital component of in-person provision of services.[4]


"The basic idea underlying the digital economy is that the development, diffusion, application and use of ICTs — including computers, telecommunications, digital media and the Internet — has underlain and enabled the changes that have taken place over recent decades in global economic, social and political structures, including the distribution of wealth and power within and between countries, the nature of work and the location of employment, social interaction, cultural expression, and structures of governance in the public and private sectors. In this context, the digital economy, whether already current or anticipated, is seen as the post-industrial successor to the industrial era. ICTs are seen as the latest GPT (General Purpose Technologies), following electricity, steam and a small number of earlier technologies that have had transformative effects on economies and societies."[5]

"The digital economy is therefore a subset of broader new term in policy discourse, having concepts, such as the 'information age' or 'the global information society,' that attempt to comprehend the total set of transformations that have been enabled by ICTs and the interactions between and among them. The digital economy concept, however, focuses explicitly on the economic impact of ICTs: on the structures that generate wealth through the production and exchange of goods and services and the resources that are related to these. The nature of the digital economy is such that many of these resources — such as digital literacy — have social as well as economic dimensions. As a result, the relatively sharp boundaries that existed in the twentieth century between economic and social policy, and between the public and private spheres, are becoming fuzzy. Old ways of doing things, including governance, are not necessarily sustainable."[6]

"In the United States, the digital economy has had a staggering impact on jobs and growth. In 2014 alone, the U.S. exported roughly $400 billion in ICT-enabled deliverable services, which accounted for more than half of U.S. services exports. The digital economy has increased total U.S. real GDP by more than a percentage point annually and has added millions of new jobs. Virtually all industry sectors, from manufacturing to financial services, education, agriculture and health care, have benefited from the adoption of digital technologies, applications, and services."[7]

"The United States continually produces the most innovative companies, founded by the most creative minds in business and engineering. Yet the success of American entrepreneurship in the digital economy was not a foregone conclusion and did not occur in a vacuum. Indeed, for the digital economy to thrive, governments, working in concert with other stakeholders, must create a legal, policy, and diplomatic environment conducive to creativity, competition, and investment.[8]


See also[]

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