A Closer Look

Ignore economists at your peril – The case of the Internet economy

Forget about equations and forecasts. Powerful economic concepts have given rise to companies and transformed industries. Ignore economists at your peril. Capture d’écran 2015-04-23 à 10.01.54

As business leaders seek to stay ahead of the curve, they should ensure that somewhere in their range of view are the ideas of economists. Not forecasts or models or the dry parade of graphs and equations found in the typical introductory textbook, but rather economists’ insights and ideas, which sometimes have an enormous impact on the evolution of industries and also have been put to use in very practical and profitable ways by real companies. I am an economist, so this assertion may seem a bit self-serving. But I wouldn’t make it if there weren’t powerful evidence in its corner.

In this article, I’ll focus on one example: the Internet economy we know today would not have been possible, in scale or in speed of adoption, without an extremely important policy development of the 1970s and 1980s—the deregulation of transportation—in which economists played an important role. Nor would the business model of two of the Internet’s well-known players have been possible without the embrace of an idea—auctions—that has its roots deep in economics. I don’t think the Internet is an isolated case. I’ll close with an example of how a big economic idea could, in the future, have major implications for another major industry: pharmaceuticals.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at  Economists: Don’t leave home without one | McKinsey & Company.

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