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The University of Southampton
Economic, Social and Political Sciences

Centre for Research in the Information Economy

Published: 25 May 2008 Origin:  Economics

The Centre for Research in the Information Economy (CRIE) is a research centre based in the Economics Division at the University of Southampton. CRIE has four aims:

  • to be a centre of expertise and excellence in economic analysis of information, markets and policy
  • encourage pure and applied economic research into the relationship between the organisation of information, the structure of markets, the degree of innovation, and the effect and role of policy
  • develop a network of associates, and a research environment and infrastructure
  • provide a bridge between academic research and policy-making to ensure relevance and coherence of both
    CRIE takes an active role in policy-making. Professor Robin Mason (the Director of CRIE) has recently acted as advisor to OFCOM, the UK communications regulator, on the future of digital media. He sits on the steering committee of the Broadband Stakeholder Group, which is the UK government’s leading advisory group on broadband policy.

The research in CRIE ranges from empirical, through theory, to policy. Recent research projects carried out by some of the members of CRIE include:

The empirical analysis of innovation
Carmine Ornaghi specialises in the empirical analysis of innovation. In his paper “Mergers and Innovation: the Case of the Pharmaceutical Industry”, forthcoming in the International Journal of Industrial Organization, he finds that pharmaceutical firms that merge tend to do worse in terms of innovation after they have merged. Mergers between large firms decrease the amount of innovation undertaken by competitors. The overall picture that emerges from the analysis is that merger in the pharmaceutical industry

Economic agents and their environment
A major research project in the Centre involves understanding how economic agents (workers, firms, sellers etc.) can learn about their environment when learning is (potentially) costly.

This two-year project is directed jointly by Professor Robin Mason and Professor Juuso Valimaki, and is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

The objective of the project is to explain why reservation wages of unemployed workers decline in the duration of the unemployment spell; why prices of houses decline as a function of time on the market; and why research projects are sometimes started and later abandoned.

The key to the project is to analyse how unemployed workers, house sellers, and project managers learn about their prospects over time, when they can influence how quickly they learn.

Funded by ESRC
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