Topic A: Industry Structures, Institutions and Public Policy: Case of Information Economy
[For both PhD/MPP]
Research Area: Digital Society
Description: An internet-enabled digital economy, led by technology firms with a global footprint, have had historically unprecedented growth in the last 20-25 years. What really has enabled the very steep rise of such digital ‘tech’ or digital ‘platform’ economies? How in particular have the (digital/info econ) industry specific circumstances contributed to this growth – for instance, the rapid assembling and iner-operability of technology, both at the hardware and software aspects, the creation of the data centres, etc.
The institutional support (in terms of policy or funding) has arguably played a significant or decisive role in creating the broader context within which many such firms have spectacularly flourished. This is a historical political economic approach that will attempt to place more critical scrutiny at both international and Indian development of this sector.
Relevance to Policy: Often the public policy responses to a rapidly growing industry, does not examine the deeper set of institutional elements that have shaped the specific industry contours. By such an exercise (as stated in the description above), one hopes to critically examine the strategic choices made both by industry players (large firms) as well as by governing regimes. The relative successes and failures of initiatives by both the former and the latter, will arguably provide a better understanding how public policy should respond to emerging challenges.
Topic B: Tracing the contours of both personal and non-personal data-value chain
A crucial element of the information economy is the immense flow of data from users at one end, through several intermediaries
Research Area: Digital Society
Description: Scarcity of literature that exists regarding a critical examination of the precise nature of information flow of both personal data and non-personal data. Without the deeper structural understanding of the volume of flows, the various intermediaries, the economic value that perhaps gets added at each step, the level of data aggregation that occurs at data centres, the various revenue and business models involved, we will be unable to provide a more compelling argument regarding the policy and regulatory interventions that may be required, at various stages of the data-value chain. In some ways this is analogous to understanding the supply-chain of commodities. The research interest is to carve out a political economic perspective of this domain and ask pertinent questions of a rapidly growing field.
Relevance to Policy: Understanding data value chains is arguably a central aspect of uncovering the deeper set of shifts and changes occurring within the broader information economy. How are such forms of data extraction, aggregation & monetisation helping to re-shape the economy? What forms of policy intervention can be expected or even anticipated?
Select Peer Reviewed Publications: